Thailand's Narathiwat province on the Thailand-Malaysia
A border officer checks the temperature of a woman at the customs checkpoint in Sungai Kolok in southern Thailand's Narathiwat province on the Thailand-Malaysia border on March 15, 2020, amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Image Credit: AFP

A religious gathering at a mosque in Malaysia attended by 16,000 people has led to a spike in coronavirus cases in the country and some of its neighbors.

Malaysia reported an additional 190 confirmed infections on Sunday, an increase of 80 per cent of cases over a day and bringing its total to 428. Most of the cases stemmed from a Muslim religious gathering held from February 27 to March 1, which authorities said was attended by 14,500 Malaysians and about 1,500 foreigners. Malaysia is the worst-infected nation in Southeast Asia.

The religious gathering has led to neighboring Singapore shutting activities at its mosques for two weeks after some of its citizens attended the event and later tested positive for the virus. In Brunei, 40 people have also been infected after some attended the gathering, the Borneo Bulletin reported.

On Saturday, Malaysia said about 4,900 Malaysians who attended the event had been identified, with just over 3,000 having been screened or tested. More than 1,600 had displayed respiratory tract infection symptoms, and 137 have been sent to hospital.