KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian authorities try to trace down an estimated 2,000 Rohingya who attended a Muslim gathering that led to a spike in coronavirus instances throughout Southeast Asia, a safety supply and two different folks conversant in the matter mentioned.
The pinnacle of a refugee rights group mentioned her checks recommended that “a number of hundred” Rohingya attended the gathering late final month at a mosque on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Greater than 100,000 Rohingya stay in Malaysia after fleeing Myanmar, however they’re thought of unlawful immigrants.
Their standing would probably make them reluctant to establish themselves to get examined for the coronavirus even when they confirmed signs, different sources within the Rohingya group mentioned.
Malaysia’s seek for the Rohingya highlights the problem for governments making an attempt to trace the virus amongst communities residing with out official papers and cautious of authorities.
The non secular gathering was attended by some 16,000 folks. In addition to the Rohingya and different refugees and undocumented migrants, about 1,500 Muslims from throughout Asia attended.
Greater than 670 coronavirus instances in Southeast Asia have been linked to the gathering, together with 576 in Malaysia, 61 in Brunei, 22 in Cambodia, 5 in Singapore, seven in Thailand, and one every in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Malaysia has 900 coronavirus instances in all, the very best in Southeast Asia.
Malaysian authorities have been monitoring down the individuals however say they’ve been unable to seek out about four,000 of them.
Lilianne Fan, chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Community’s Rohingya Working Group, mentioned authorities together with the police, the U.N. refugee company and NGOs had been working to establish those that attended the occasion or who’ve been uncovered to individuals who attended.
Though the refugee group has been largely cooperating, some had been reluctant to go for exams, fearing arrest, she advised Reuters, including that many extra Burmese Muslim refugees, one other ethnic group from Myanmar just like the Rohingya, attended the occasion.
“One vital and pressing step that needs to be taken is for the federal government to publicly come out to state that every one undocumented migrants and refugees needn’t worry arrest and detention, and that every one constructive instances can be given free medical therapy and never be topic to arrest at hospitals,” Fan mentioned.
Police declined to remark and directed queries to the Malaysian Nationwide Safety Council beneath the prime minister’s workplace. It couldn’t be reached for remark.
‘SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION’
The federal government had requested the police prison investigation division to search for the lacking individuals, the safety supply mentioned.
Malaysia applied journey curbs and shut down non-essential companies from Wednesday for 2 weeks to include the coronavirus after the spike in instances linked to the mosque gathering. One one that attended the gathering died from the virus this week.
Members spent most of their time crowded within the mosque for the four-day occasion, however some went to eating places, malls and Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas twin towers, in keeping with Reuters interviews with individuals who attended and social media posts.
The U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia mentioned it was working with the Ministry of Well being to make sure that all refugee and asylum-seeking communities had been included in authorities response measures.
The Ministry of Well being didn’t reply to requests for remark.
A 39-year-old Rohingya building employee and father of 4, who lives within the Malaysian state of Penang, mentioned he spent days on the mosque occasion with almost two dozen Rohingya buddies.
He mentioned none of them was displaying signs and he went to a hospital however was not examined.
“The whole lot’s fantastic, no fever, nothing,” he mentioned.
Salman, a Bangladeshi building employee who lives close to the mosque, mentioned he and lots of different Bangladeshis went to the gathering. His coronavirus take a look at was adverse however the hospital was calling him every day to examine for signs. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das and A. Ananthalakshmi in Kuala Lumpur Extra reporting by Karen Lema and Martin Petty in Manila, Joseph Sipalan in Kuala Lumpur, James Pearson in Hanoi and Kay Johnson in Bangkok Modifying by Robert Birsel and Nick Macfie)