Jokowi confirms no government ban on worship during COVID-19 pandemic

Jokowi confirms no government ban on worship during COVID-19 pandemic

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) echoed the government's stance to not prohibit worshipping during the imposition of large-scale social distancing to stem the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The government does not forbid worship, but rather through the Ministry of Religious Affairs encourages religious communities to augment the extent and scale of their respective worship," he remarked at the Merdeka Palace here on Tuesday during a meeting held to discuss preparations for Idul Fitri.

The head of state called on government officials to notify the public of no ban on worship stipulated in the regulations on efforts to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

"I want this to be explained at length. Provide them with a detailed understanding and inform them that the government does not forbid worship," he emphasized.

The president expounded that the government solely regulated the implementation of religious activities in accordance with the health protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

"What we appeal and we arrange is worshipping in accordance with health protocols and an advice to pray at home that can be followed together. I think we have often said that," he stated.

Indonesian Muslims have, so far, been observing the fasting month of Ramadhan until May 23, 2020. After fasting for an entire month, the Muslims will celebrate the Idul Fitri Islamic Festivity.

However, the novel coronavirus pandemic has left Muslims will no choice but to change the traditions usually followed during Ramadhan and Idul Fitri.

Muslims are advised to pray at home, and most mosques have been instructed to remain closed in accordance with the medical protocols of social distancing measures in a bid to break the chain of the COVID-19 infections.

In the meantime, 195 patients have recovered from COVID-19 in Indonesia on Monday, taking the total count of recoveries to 4,324, government spokesperson for the handling of COVID-19, Achmad Yurianto, confirmed.

"The number of patients dying (of COVID-19) has also increased by 43 to 1,191," he remarked at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) building in Jakarta on Monday.

Yurianto stated that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 496 to 18,010. Meanwhile, 11,422 patients have been put under surveillance, and 45,047 people have been placed under surveillance.

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