Coronavirus outbreak

Five Singaporeans infected at KL event visited 10 mosques here on return

Masjid Jamae (Chulia) is one of the 10 affected mosques. The confirmed cases had visited the mosques at various periods of time from March 3 to 11. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Masjid Jamae (Chulia) is one of the 10 affected mosques. The confirmed cases had visited the mosques at various periods of time from March 3 to 11. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Muis: Congregants who visited the mosques during certain periods may have been exposed to a case

After attending a large religious gathering at a mosque on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, five Singaporeans returned here and tested positive for the coronavirus.

But by then, they had visited 10 mosques in Singapore during their infectious period.

Congregants who visited these mosques during certain timeframes may have been exposed to a Covid-19 case, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in a statement yesterday.

Covid-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The affected mosques are Masjid Al-Iman, Masjid Al-Muttaqin, Masjid Hajjah Fatimah, Masjid Hajah Rahimabi Kebun Limau, Masjid Kassim, Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang, Masjid Sultan, Masjid Al-Mawaddah, Masjid Jamae (Chulia) and Masjid Al-Istiqamah.

The confirmed cases had visited these mosques at various periods of time from March 3 to 11.

Muis advised congregants who had visited these mosques to monitor their health closely for two weeks from their last visit to the affected mosque.

They should look out for fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny nose or breathlessness, and seek medical attention promptly if they have these symptoms or feel unwell.

They should also wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit to inform the clinic doctor of their attendance at the affected activities that are linked to the confirmed Covid-19 cases, said Muis.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli urged Singaporeans who wish to attend similar gatherings overseas to review their plans as social distancing measures might not be strictly implemented by the organisers.

RETHINK ANY TRIPS ABROAD

If you do decide to go or have gone, please report yourselves to the authorities upon your return. These are challenging times, but let us take comfort in the fact that we are mobilising all our resources to keep this virus at bay.

MINISTER-IN-CHARGE OF MUSLIM AFFAIRS MASAGOS ZULKIFLI, urging Singaporeans who wish to attend similar gatherings overseas to review their plans.

"If you do decide to go or have gone, please report yourselves to the authorities upon your return," he said in a Facebook post yesterday, after Muis released its statement.

He wrote: "These are challenging times, but let us take comfort in the fact that we are mobilising all our resources to keep this virus at bay."

In its statement, Muis also reminded members of the public to be socially responsible and exercise personal hygiene. See a doctor when unwell, even with mild flu-like symptoms, and stay at home to prevent spreading illness to others, it said.

Members of the public should also keep to the same family physician for better continuity of care, isolate themselves at home when unwell and as advised by a doctor, wash their hands frequently with soap and water, and avoid touching their faces.

They should also steer clear of large community gatherings and large religious gatherings overseas during this period and defer non-essential travel to mainland China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Spain.

Muis' announcement comes after it closed all 70 mosques in Singapore for five days for cleaning, starting last Friday, as a preventive measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Around 90 Singaporeans were among the 10,000 people from different countries who attended the mass religious gathering held at a mosque in Selangor between Feb 27 and March 1.

At least 37 Bruneians and 77 Malaysians who were at the gathering, or were close contacts of attendees, have tested positive, according to media reports.

"It is possible for more cases to emerge from people who had visited the mosque, or further spread to their close contacts," said Muis, adding that it is actively assisting the Ministry of Health in its efforts to conduct contact tracing to limit the spread of the virus.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2020, with the headline 'Five S'poreans infected at KL event visited 10 mosques here on return'. Print Edition | Subscribe