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Covid-19: Health Ministry declares end of Sri Petaling tabligh cluster

KUALA LUMPUR (July 9): The Ministry of Health yesterday declared the end of the Sri Petaling tabligh Covid-19 cluster, the country’s largest, after no new infection was reported in that group for 28 days.

A total of 42,023 individuals from this cluster had been screened, and 3,375 positive cases were detected, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

This accounted for 39% of the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, he said in his media briefing yesterday.

The last case in this cluster was reported on June 11, involving a student from the Philippines who attended a tahfiz school in Sungai Lui, Hulu Langat, Selangor.

“This case was a part of the Sungai Lui tahfiz school sub-cluster where 211 cases were detected.

“Through repeated screening on June 10, he was tested positive without having any symptoms. He was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital and recovered on June 24,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He said 2,187 cases in this cluster were asymptomatic, representing 64.8% of overall positive cases in this cluster.

“Meanwhile, 87 patients were treated in intensive care unit. From this total, 29 patients required ventilator support.

“There were 3,341 individuals who have recovered,” he said, adding that this gives a recovery rate of 98.9%.

He added that 34 deaths – involving 31 Malaysians and three foreigners - were reported in the cluster, accounting for 28.1% of the cumulative COVID-19-related deaths in the country.

Out of the 34 death cases, 30 were men while four were women.

The Sri Petaling tabligh gathering was held for four days in a mosque from Feb 27 until March 3. Around 16,000 participants comprising 14,500 Malaysians and 1,500 foreigners had attended the event.

Dr Noor Hisham said the first two cases in the cluster were reported on March 11, a week after the gathering had ended.

“They were Malaysians from Pahang and Negeri Sembilan who attended the gathering. The cause of infection was probably from abroad and they infected the community through mass gathering activity through close contacts who were tested positive,” he said.

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