Tabligh organisers say 12,500 attended event, not 16,000

Three men linked to the tabligh gathering held at the Sri Petaling mosque have died from Covid-19 infection. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The organisers of the tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur have disputed the number of attendees at the event held during the Covid-19 outbreak, which has seen the death of three men linked to it.

Earlier reports had put the figure at 16,000 but one of the organisers, Abdullah Cheong, said the actual figure is about 12,500.

Of the total, Malaysians make up about 11,000, he told Bernama.

“The 12,500 figure is not something we came up with but is based on data of attendees we registered on an annual basis,” he said

The tabligh gathering, held at a mosque in Sri Petaling, took place from Feb 28 to March 1.

Abdullah said the number of participants was also derived based on the mosque’s layout and capacity, after taking into account walk-ins by local participants not required to formally register.

Earlier this month, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that the attendance was as high as 16,000 people.

Abdullah also said that of the 11,000 Malaysians present, 500 had yet to be screened.

He refuted a claim that thousands of Rohingya migrants had attended the event, saying only 200 turned up, in addition to about 150 Myanmar nationals.

The three men who died, aged 34, 50 and 58, had attended the gathering, which has resulted in a high number of confirmed cases linked to it.