While many Muslims in Indonesia’s capital accepted advice to avoid religious gatherings and prayed at home on Friday elsewhere in the world’s most populous Muslim country, people ignored the risk of coronavirus and crowded into their mosques.
A religious gathering in Malaysia late last month attended by some 16,000 people generated about 670 coronavirus cases across the region.
Indonesia has reported 309 cases in all but the figure is rising and medical experts warn the number of infections is likely to be higher. Twenty-five people have died in Indonesia.
But some Muslims trusted in their faith to keep them safe. “Allah is protecting those who abide by their obligations,” said Aswin Jusar, 76, in the town of Depok, south of Jakarta, as he prepared to attend Friday prayers despite a call from the mayor for religious activities to be suspended.
Depok has recorded several coronavirus cases and Yunizar, 65, the caretaker of the mosque, said while he was worried, he decided to go ahead with prayers anyway.