From left, Judha Nugraha, the Foreign Affairs Ministry's director for the protection of Indonesian citizens, Teuku Faizasyah, the ministry's spokesman, and Santo Darmosumarto, the ministry's director for East Asia and the Pacific, during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Thirteen Indonesians Contract Covid-19 at Malaysia's Tabligh Islamic Gathering

BY :NUR YASMIN

MARCH 20, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry has confirmed thirteen Indonesians had contracted Covid-19 after taking part in a tabligh Islamic gathering in Selangor, Malaysia, on Feb. 27–March 1.

"All of them took part in the event at the Sri Petaling Mosque. They went there independently. We've asked those who had stayed through the Malaysian authorities to contact our embassy's hotline number," Judha Nugraha, the ministry's director for the protection of Indonesian citizens, said in a video conference on Thursday.

Some Indonesian participants of the tabligh had already returned home. One of them from Riau on the island on Sumatra has since tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur advised Indonesians who took part in the event to check themselves in at the hospital. 

The four-day congregation in Selangor and Sabah was attended by more than 16,000 people from 27 countries, during which they worshipped, ate and slept together at the mosque complex.

There were 696 Indonesians at the four-day event. The rest of the 16,000-strong congregation came from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Germany.

Some of them had caused new Covid-19 infections in Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand after returning home. 

As of Thursday, a total of 513 people in Malaysia have been discovered to have contracted Covid-19 from attending the tabligh gathering, pushing up the number of coronavirus infections in the country to 900.

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