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Caution as Mass attendee tests positive for Covid-19 in Malaysia

Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur had suspended public Masses in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor state from Oct. 7
Caution as Mass attendee tests positive for Covid-19 in Malaysia

Pedestrians wait to cross a street in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 7. The country on Oct. 13 announced new restrictions around the capital and worst-hit Sabah state as it fights a new Covid-19 surge. (Photo: AFP) 

Published: October 15, 2020 09:53 AM GMT
Updated: October 17, 2020 03:42 AM GMT

The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has announced that a Mass attendee tested positive for Covid-19, urging those who joined the Mass to take precautions to remain safe.

A parishioner, who attended the morning Tamil-language Mass on Sept. 25 at Sacred Heart Church in Jalan Peel, tested positive for Covid-19, the diocese announced on Oct. 14.

The person tested positive on Oct. 12 and is undergoing treatment, said a media statement from the archdiocese.

The District Health Office is probing the incident as part of contact tracing, the statement added.

The archdiocesan task force has urged the faithful to remain vigilant and take precautions to remain safe.

The archdiocese has asked all those who attended the Mass to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The church was closed on Oct. 14 in compliance with a government protocol and will be sanitized following public health guidelines, the statement said.

"The parish had also fully complied with the National Security Council's standard operating procedures and the archdiocesan guidelines before, during and after the mass to reduce the risk of infection," the statement said.

"We have cooperated with the public health authorities in providing them with the necessary contact listing information together with details of the seating arrangement in the church."

The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur had suspended public Masses in churches within Kuala Lumpur and Selangor state from Oct. 7 as Covid-19 cases surged in Malaysia in a second wave.

In a statement on Oct. 6, Father Michael Chua, chancellor of the archdiocese, said the suspension would be reviewed before Oct. 20.

Father Chua urged Catholics in Kuala Lumpur not to visit other provincial states to attend Masses as it would increase the risk of transmissions.

Malaysia reported 660 new coronavirus cases on Oct. 14 and the government has imposed tighter restrictions on movement for two weeks.

The new infections increased Malaysia's cumulative tally to 17,540 cases. With four new deaths, total deaths rose to 167. More than half of the infections were reported in Sabah, a state under lockdown,

Noor Hisham Abdullah, director-general of the health ministry, told the media that six new cases were imported and 654 were local transmissions.

Since Sept. 26, the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has been on an upward climb, and the Southeast Asian nation has been registering a triple-digit jump in daily infections since the beginning of this month.

Sabah state has the highest number of daily cases. On Oct 14, it accounted for 429 of the 660 new confirmed infections, followed by Kedah (113) and Selangor (68).

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