Social distancing ignored during religious gatherings such as these led to the rapid spread of Covid-19.

TAHFIZ and madrasahs (religious schools) nationwide are under health scrutiny as medical personnel continue efforts to break the chain of the Covid-19 pandemic virus spread.

This ongoing screening commenced last week after Ministry of Health identified new sub-clusters at madrasahs (religious schools) and tahfiz schools in Pahang, Penang, Selangor and Melaka, where infections were associated with the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering early last month.

In Kelantan Thursday, health officials embarked on screenings on traditional religious schools identified to be high risk.

Urging the public to ignore rumours, director Datuk Dr Zaini Husain said screenings done on students and residents at Pasir Tumboh on Wednesday was necessary after 15 students showed symptoms such as high fever and cough.

He told Bernama they were sent to the quarantine centre at Tengku Anis Hospital in Pasir Puteh as a precautionary measure.

In a related development, screenings were carried out screenings in Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru and its vicinity Thursday.

Expected to continue until next week, more than 400 underwent tests.

Similar screenings were also done in Tawau and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which  recorded 79 and 39 cases respectively earlier this week.

Sabah Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi had said 95 percent of Tawau cases were from the tabligh cluster, while in Kota Kinabalu only 62 percent were from the tabligh cluster.

With more than 9,000 madrasah tahfiz students and 300 schools nationwide (based on records) it was inevitable they come under the microscope for Covid-19 testing.

Ministry of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah more than 2,700 had undergone screening and 10 per cent with found to be positive for the virus.

On Thursday, 69 new Covid-19 cases were recorded since the Movement Control Order  came into force on March 18.

Further positive signs against the pandemic was when 201 patients recovered and were discharged.

Dr Noor Hisham told the media the 201 cases brings the cumulative recovered to 2,967.

“The 69 new cases raise the tally to 5,251 cases and the total number of active cases capable of being infective is 2,198 cases. They have been isolated and undergoing  treatment,” he said.

With two more deaths reported, this brings to 86 total number of deaths in the country.

The 85th fatality was an 85-year-old Malaysian man who had close contact with a patient-under-investigation from a Bali cluster.

The 86th death was also a male who had a history of high blood pressure and stroke.

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