The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 (BARMM-IATF) has identified 196 of the 215 Filipino-Muslims who attended a Tabligh (Islamic preachers) gathering in Malaysia.
BARMM Cabinet Secretary Asnin Pendatun, also the IATF spokesperson, said in a press briefing on Monday, March 23, that the task force was able to get the passport numbers of those individuals who are now considered as persons under monitoring (PUM).
“Pero kailangan muna nating i-validate isa-isa kasi hindi lahat ay galing sa Pilipinas at galing sa BARMM. Hindi rin lahat ay nakauwi na. Some are still in Malaysia,” Pendatun said.
“Ang importante may pangalan na sila at passport numbers, malaking tulong yun na ma-track natin sila,” he added.
The IATF has already identified 35 persons as residents of BARMM. They are now under strict monitoring, Pendatun said.
“Karamihan sa mga na-trace natin ay asymptomatic at naka-quarantine sila, in fact, patapos na din ang 14 days quarantine nila,” he added.
As to the reports circulating that 16 of the 215 individuals are COVID-19 positive, Pendatun said, “As of now we don’t have official statement from the Department of Health so we cannot confirm that. We will validate it from the authorities first.”
The 215 individuals were reportedly among those over 16,000 people who attended the Tabligh held from February 27 to March 1, in Kuala Lumpur’s Jamek Sri Petalling Mosque. The gathering allegedly contributed in the increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Malaysia.