MANILA, Philippines – Fifty-five Filipinos who traveled to Malaysia for a tabligh event or religious gathering in late February have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Friday, April 3.
Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose gave the update in a Laging Handa press briefing, saying of the 55, a total of 46 were still being treated in various hospitals in Manila. Nine have been discharged.
He said they will be reptriated once all recovered.
Jose said all but one of the 55 confirmed cases were Filipinos who traveled from the Philippines to Malaysia for the Itjima congregation at a tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from February 27 to March 1.
The gathering has become the coronavirus pandemic’s largest vector in Southeast Asia, with more than 800 cases in the region linked to the tabligh event.
The 55 Filipinos in Malaysia are among the 211 Filipinos reported to have the coronavirus disease in Asia.
The Philippines has counted at least 448 Filipinos overseas who were positive for the virus. Of this, 313 are currently being treated while 121 have recovered. There have been 14 deaths.