More students from religious schools expected to test positive for COVID-19, says Malaysian health ministry
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Health Ministry said on Thursday (Apr 16) that more students from religious schools are expected to test positive for COVID-19.
Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press conference that the students may have been exposed to the virus by being in close contact with those who attended a mass religious gathering that took place in Kuala Lumpur from Feb 27 to Mar 1.
The religious gathering cluster is the biggest in Malaysia so far with 1,939 people testing positive for the virus after 25,405 people were screened. The cluster included patients from five generations.
Malaysia reported 110 new cases on Thursday. There are now 5,182 COVID-19 cases in total, of which 2,766 have recovered. The death toll is 84.
Dr Noor Hisham noted that there were 9,842 students from 304 Tahfiz schools nationwide.
“We have tested the students who are still living in the schools' premises. Of the 2,667 students who were screened, 250 students nationwide have tested positive for the virus.
“We believe they have been infected from the mass gathering and that there will be more as the numbers seem to be increasing,” he said, adding that the students would be monitored over the next one to two weeks.
He did not elaborate on the screening and testing policy for Tahfiz students who have returned home.
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On Mar 29, it was announced that 71 students from a Tahfiz school in Sungai Lui, Selangor had tested positive for COVID-19.
As of Thursday, this number has increased to 127 students from the 274 students in the school.