KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Worshipers who attended a mass religious event in Malaysia that is now linked to 840 coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia are working with authorities, an organizer said after the government said thousands of them still exist were tracked down.
The four-day Islamic gathering in a mosque near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is linked to 60% of all 1,183 cases in the country – the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia with a total of more than 3,000 cases.
Malaysia has also recorded eight deaths.
The government said Thursday that it still had to locate 4,000 of the 14,500 Malaysians present. The Ministry of Health said on Saturday that the number of cases is expected to increase next week as it tries to track down unscreened participants in the religious event from February 27th to March 1st.
"After hearing reports from thousands or attendees that have not yet been reviewed, many have repeatedly returned to their district health departments or hospitals until their names and details have been recorded," said Abdullah Cheong, leader of the event organizing team, in a statement on Saturday .
"We are prepared and we are fully committed to helping the authorities deal with the pandemic."
He also said that 12,500 people attended the gathering, including foreigners and 200 Rohingya refugees. Previous reports have estimated the number at 16,000.
The Ministry of Health could not be reached immediately on Sunday for comment.
The government has also announced that it will use the army on Sunday to help the police enforce a two-week travel and movement restriction that began on Wednesday.
"We have to make sure that our health care system is not overwhelmed by an increase in the number of cases by ensuring that we stay at home," said Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Twitter.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or correct. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. Therefore, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media assumes no responsibility for any trade losses that you may incur from using this data.
Fusion Media or persons involved in Fusion Media are not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information contained on this website such as data, offers, diagrams and buy / sell signals. Please be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading on the financial markets. This is one of the most risky forms of investment that is possible.