Malaysia reports 41 new cases of COVID-19, most linked to religious event

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 41 new cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday (Mar 14), most linked to a religious event on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur that was attended by about 10,000 people from several countries.

The new cases bring the total number of cases in the country to 238. 

The religious event had drawn about 16,000 participants, a majority of whom were Malaysians. 

A participant from Brunei was said to have contracted the coronavirus after attending the gathering. He tested positive on Wednesday and was Brunei’s first COVID-19 case. Brunei has since reported a total of 25 cases, mostly linked to the religious event. 

The cluster has also infected a number of Singaporeans.

As of Friday, 33 COVID-19 patients in Malaysia have “made a full recovery”, Malaysia’s health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah earlier said.

On Friday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said all gatherings, including international meetings, sports, social and religious events would be postponed or cancelled until Apr 30.

Muhyiddin said the increase in coronavirus cases was due to two new clusters, mostly involving Malaysians.

He said that Malaysia will maintain its travel restrictions. 

There is currently an inbound travel ban on the Chinese provinces of Hubei, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Malaysia has also banned visitors from Hokkaido, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

He added that the Malaysian government will further tighten screening, restrict travel and provide special lanes for visitors from other affected countries.

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