In optimizing our endeavor to prevent the spread of this virus, Daarut Tauhid has decided to terminate the teaching and learning activities at the boarding school
Bandung, W Java (ANTARA) - The leader of Daarut Tauhid Islamic Boarding School, Abdullah Gymnastiar (Aa Gym), has shut the school anticipating the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as the Indonesian Government strives to handle the rising number of patients. "In optimizing our endeavor to prevent the spread of this virus, Daarut Tauhid has decided to terminate the teaching and learning activities at the boarding school," he said on his social media account that ANTARA observed here Saturday.

Despite the temporary closure of the Islamic boarding school, located at Geger Kalong area of Bandung, the capital of West Java Province, Aa Gym urged the boarding school's santris (students) to keep studying at home during the 14-day closure.

This respected ulema also revealed that massive gatherings at Daarut Tauhid would also be terminated for the time being. Instead, the activities would be focused on cleaning the area to stop the potential spread of this new coronavirus.

For Indonesian Muslims, Aa Gym called on them to increase the quality of their shalat (prayers), zikir (chants praising God), and sadaqah (charity). At the same time, they are also urged to follow the latest information on the virus.

"Do not panic. Please remain calm, and do not overreact that may make us stressful. Instead, please do not also downplay and ignore," he added.

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In another development, the number of COVID-19 patients in Indonesia has jumped to 96, as the virus has spread to several regions, including Jakarta, Bandung, Tangerang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Bali, Manado, and Pontianak.

"According to today's update, the number of confirmed cases has reached 96 after yesterday, we had 69 cases. There are 27 new cases," Achmad Yurianto, a spokesman for coronavirus handling, said.

The new cases came to light after the government conducted massive contact tracing, he revealed.

So far, five coronavirus patients have died, of which four -- case 25, 35, 36, and case 50 -- were linked to the initial 69 cases.

On Saturday morning, the World Dream's 188 crew members had departed from the Sebaru Kecil Island, part of Jakarta, because they had completed their 14-day quarantine.

They boarded the Indonesian Naval Ship KRI-Semarang 594 to the pier of the Military Naval Command (Kolinlamil) in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta. At the pier, the crew members were received by representatives of their regional administrations.

One of the World Dream cruise ship's crew members named Vidya told journalists that "being passionate about staying healthy" has become the motto for her and her colleagues during their stay in Jakarta's small island.

"What is important for us during the observation period is that we have the passion to stay healthy and keep clean," said the 40-year-old woman.

The government provided Vidya and her colleagues with buses to take them to destinations such as the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport and Soekarno Hatta International Airport since several of them would depart for their hometowns Saturday afternoon and evening.

Several others were dropped off at hotels or homes of relatives while awaiting departure for their homes, he stated, adding that he did not wish to divulge the names crew members and addresses of the homes of their families or hotels where they are staying in Jakarta.

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Translator: Bagus AR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Mulyo Sunyoto
Copyright © ANTARA 2020