A rally of Muslim pilgrims that is drawing thousands of people to Indonesia has been stopped amid fears that it could help spread the COVID-19.
Indonesia has reported less than 300 coronavirus cases but there are suspicions many have gone undetected. However, the nation had run just 1,255 tests by Wednesday even though the World Health Organization warned the government earlier this month to scale up testing to prevent much higher infections in the future.
Indonesia Authorities had been trying to persuade Ijtima Asia, to postpone/cancel the event at Gowa, South Sulawesi province in the fears that their meeting could fuel the spread of a coronavirus, just two weeks after a similar event in Malaysia caused 790 infections, about 2/3 of the participants.
“Alhamdulillah, Ijtima finally agreed to postpone/cancel,” the head of Gowa regency, Adnan Purichta Ichsan, posted on social media on Mar 18.
The pilgrims already there would be isolated while they make arrangements to leave Gowa, he added. More than 8,500 people from across Indonesia, Asia and the Middle East had reach Gowa.
They are upset that the authorities stop the event and defiantly stating “we are more afraid of God” than the coronavirus on Wednesday, organiser Mustari Bahranuddin said he would follow the directive to cancel the prayer rally.
But he said it would be difficult to quickly disperse the crowd, many of whom had arrived by ferry. However, the spoke person said they are in the midst of arranging to send those participants home.
I think somehow we have to be rational. Again fellow Malaysian… SOCIAL DISTANCING, SOCIAL DISTANCING and SOCIAL DISTANCING !
Source : CNA