Covid-19: Don’t stigmatise tabligh participants, urges MoH DG

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

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KUCHING, March 24: Ministry of Health (MoH) director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged Malaysians not to blame, discriminate and stigmatise tabligh participants even though they made up 60 per cent of the total Covid-19 positive cases in the country.

“What is important now is to help us (MoH) to trace and treat Covid-19 infections among these tabligh participants, families and their contacts,” he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.

He said that the ministry will continue to focus on the tabligh cluster to trace any suspected cases, get them tested and to isolate and treat them if confirmed with Covid-19.

“Everybody has a responsibility to break the chain of transmission and it is unprecedented for the government to enforce the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“We want people to stay at home, wash hands and observe social distancing so as to reduce the chances of infection. More importantly, we also want to protect the elderly at home,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that the ministry is increasing the capacity of laboratories to conduct more tests.

“We started with 3,500 tests a day and now we have increased to about 7,000 tests a day. So we want to increase the capacity further and by the end of this month, we should be able to test 16,000.

“We are also testing a few Rapid Test Kit antigens. If we can test more people who are asymptomatic, we will isolate and treat them,” he added.

With the MCO in place, he emphasised the ministry and other relevant authorities can look into the various target groups especially the high risk so as to pick up the cases and isolate them.

“We will continue to test more people and hopefully we will be able to detect more and by isolating infected patients from society and the community, then we may flatten the curve,” he added. — DayakDaily