The decision was taken as a precautionary measure against the potential spread of COVID-19 by isolating members of the congregation for the sake of their safety and of the local residents, Gowa District Head Adnan Purichta Ichsan YL informed journalists here on Thursday.
The mass gathering to be held in Nirrannuang Village, Bontomarannu Sub-district, was postponed following a meeting with several members of the organizing committee and Global Ijtima-Asian Zone's advisory council.
The meeting was initiated by representatives of the Gowa District administration, local police and military, along with other related parties, including the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
Ustadz Abdurrahman, representing the organizing committee, notified the district administration about the postponement, but several thousand congregation members had arrived at the venue.
"For the sake of the safety of the people, the Ijtima participants have been isolated. Our guests, who come from different parts of Indonesia and other countries, understand about this preventive measure. They are ready for being isolated," he revealed.
The isolation was conducted while preparing for their departure to their respective hometowns and countries. The local government had also sent its medical team members to check the participants' health condition, Adnan Purichta Ichsan YL stated.
In halting the potential spread of COVID-19, the Gowa District administration has also sprayed disinfectant at the venue area, he revealed, adding that buses will be provided to them to reach the airport on the days of their flight schedules.
COVID-19, which firstly struck in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019, has killed more than 8,900 people and infected at least 218,900 people worldwide.
In Indonesia, the virus has infected at least 227 people and killed 19 while 11 others have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
Taking into account the increasing death toll and the spread of this virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
The Indonesian government has put in place precautionary measures since the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak that first struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019.
In addition to installing thermal scanners at the country's airports and seaports, as well as making preparations at hospitals across the archipelago, the Indonesian government has repatriated several hundred citizens.
On February 2, a total of 238 Indonesian nationals were airlifted from Wuhan, China, to be quarantined in Natuna District's Riau Islands Province. All these Indonesians were found to be healthy and were reunited with their families.
On March 2, 2020, President Jokowi announced that two Indonesians had tested positive for COVID-19. The number of infected confirmed by the government tended to steadily rise over the past days. Related news: Travel cancellations have risen sharply amid COVID-19, says Traveloka
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