A rally of Muslim pilgrims that is drawing thousands of people to Indonesia has been stopped. Amid the fears, it could spread the new coronavirus, an official said.
Authorities had been trying to persuade Ijtima Asia, a part of the global Tablighi Jama’at movement of evangelical Muslims for days. The aim is to halt the event at Gowa, near Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan province after a similar event in Malaysia.
In addition, Ijtima finally agreed to postpone or cancel the event.
According to Reuters, the head of Gowa regency, Adnan Purichta Ichsan, said that the isolation goes for the Muslim pilgrims. In addition, they also make arrangements to leave Gowa. This is one of the prevention ways to avoid the coronavirus outbreak.
There are more than 8,500 people from across Indonesia, Asia, and the Middle East that had converged on the town.
Photos and videos of the Indonesian gathering posted on social media showed huge crowds of men sitting tightly together in a huge tent.
The proselytizing Tablighi Jama’at movement behind the gathering in Indonesia hosted an event in Malaysia from February 27 to March 1. It drew 16,000 followers and led to more than 500 coronavirus infections. From that cases, the gathering is too risky.
Therefore, the Gowa regency took action related to that case.
On the other hand, one of the organizers said, “We are more afraid of God,” when asked about the risk of participants spreading the virus at the event in Gowa.
“Because everyone’s human, we fear illnesses, death,” he said. “But there’s something more to the body, which is our soul.”