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Malaysia reports another COVID-19 fatality linked to religious gathering; death toll rises to 15

Malaysia reports another COVID-19 fatality linked to religious gathering; death toll rises to 15

A man wearing a face mask wipes his hands with sanitizer as he walks out from Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Mar 16, 2020. (Photo: AP/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Tuesday (Mar 24) reported another death linked to COVID-19, bringing the national death toll to 15. 

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country's 15th fatality was a 71-year-old Malaysian man from Melaka. 

The man - known as Case 1519 - was a close contact of another case who had attended a religious gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque. 

Explore: Interactive map of all the confirmed cases reported around the world

The elderly man had a history of chronic illness and had received treatment at Hospital Pakar Sultanah in the town of Muar.

Malaysia on Tuesday reported 106 new coronavirus cases. This takes the national the total to 1,624 - the highest in Southeast Asia. 

The health ministry said 43 of the new cases were linked to the mass religious gathering, which has already been connected to more than 60 per cent of the total infections in the country.

A total of 10 deaths, or 67 per cent of the fatalities, are linked to the religious gathering. The other five deaths have been linked to overseas travel. 

The event, which took place from Feb 27 to Mar 1, was attended by 16,000 people. It has also led to infections in neighbouring countries including Brunei, Singapore and Cambodia.

A total of 64 patients are currently receiving treatment in the intensive care unit, with 27 of them needing ventilation support, while another 24 patients have been discharged.

In total, 183 patients have recovered from COVID-19 so far, the ministry added. 

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