Filipinos who attended Malaysian religious event urged to report to Health Department

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

Filipinos who went to a religious event in Malaysia have been told to report to the Department of Health following the discovery that at least 70 people who attended the occasion have tested positive for the potentially deadly COVID-19.

In a statement on their Facebook page today, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said one attendee, originally from Lanao del Sur, tested positive for the virus after being admitted to a hospital in Cotabato City. The event he went to was the ijtimak tabligh gathering in the Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Selangor, which happened from Feb. 27 to March 1, and attracted at least 16,000 people from several countries.

Read: Duterte confirms ‘enhanced’ quarantine of Luzon, mass transport suspended

“The affected community in Cotabato will be in quarantine, especially those near the slaughterhouse where his relatives stayed,” the NCMF said.

They added that there were at least 215 Filipinos who attended the event, most of them from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“We are asking them to please contact immediately the local health units. Observe self-quarantine, and COOPERATE for the contact tracing,” the NCMF added.

At least 77 of Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases have been linked to the event, bringing the total number of patients there to 428, the highest by far in Southeast Asia. Malaysia will be on partial lockdown from March 18 to March 31, with all businesses closed except those selling food and other necessities. Malaysians are prohibited from traveling overseas and all religious activities will be suspended.

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