On Sunday, nearly 190 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Malaysia, most linked to Tablighi Ijtema, an Islamic evangelical event at a mosque that was attended by more than 16,000 people from several countries. Ijtema is a congregation of Muslims which is an essential part of Tablighi Jamaat. Often referred to as a show of strength of the Muslims, the 3-day event is all about moral reform of individuals and often described as ‘making Muslims true Muslims’.
According to the reports, a total of 243 people have been reported positive for coronavirus after they had attended the gathering at a mosque. Nine cases are considered to be critically ill and are closely monitored in intensive care. The health officials of Malaysia stated that all event participants and their close contacts will be placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
The new cases bring the total number of infections in the country to 428, the health ministry said in a statement. Malaysian health authorities have said around 16,000 people attended the religious gathering held at a mosque near Kuala Lumpur between February 27 and March 1. Around 14,500 of the participants are Malaysian.
The Tabligh group had held a mass gathering at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur involving thousands of people leading to the spread of the deadly virus. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday that the country was facing a “second wave” of infections, and warned of an impact on economic growth.
In neighbouring Brunei, 45 of the total 50 cases have been linked to the religious gathering, the health ministry said on Sunday. Singapore has also reported some cases linked to the same event. The health ministry has said Bruneians and foreign residents are barred from leaving the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus is a deadly respiratory disease which has killed more than 6,000 and so far more than 1,59,0000 cases are reported globally, according to the World Health Organisation. The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.
On Thursday, the number of people infected with coronavirus in India rose to 110, with fresh cases reported from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The transmission of the virus takes place when someone who is infected comes in contact with another person. According to medical experts, coughing, sneezing or even shaking hands with an infected person can cause exposure.