Coronavirus: Bangladesh mass prayer event prompts alarm thumbnail

Coronavirus: Bangladesh mass prayer event prompts alarm

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Raipur in Lakshmipur district on March 18, 2020Image copyright AFP
Image caption Eyewitnesses stammer shut to 30,000 other folks attended

Tens of thousands of different folks gathered in Bangladesh for a mass prayer session on Wednesday, amid fears that it would possibly probably perhaps lead to a mighty wider outbreak.

Native police chief Tota Miah urged AFP files company that 10,000 Muslims had gathered in Raipur metropolis to pray “healing verses” from the Koran.

But some eyewitnesses urged the BBC the determine used to be nearer to 30,000.

It comes as a non secular match in Malaysia used to be confirmed as the source of bigger than 500 native infections there.

The match, which used to be attended by 16,000 other folks, has also resulted in infections in neighbouring Brunei, Singapore and Cambodia.

Malaysia’s govt later banned all public gatherings within the nation and locked down its borders to forestall the extra unfold of the virus.

A identical mass non secular gathering in Indonesia, due to be held later this week, has now been cancelled for anguish that a identical outbreak could perhaps occur.

Prayer and protection

The non secular match at Raipur in Lakshmipur district got here as Bangladesh confirmed its first death as a result of virus.

Some 17 other folks within the nation maintain tested sure so a ways, even supposing many consultants are sceptical over the legit figures.

Mr Miah said organisers did not catch permission from the authorities to abet the match – though such native gatherings in Bangladesh in total create not rely on getting legit permits.

Image copyright Junayed Al Habib
Image caption The match took plot in a metropolis in southern Bangladesh

BBC Bengali’s correspondent Akbar Hossain spoke to locals who said the match used to be organised by a non secular leader who held a determined quantity of “affect” within the tiny metropolis.

He urged other folks to enroll in him in praying for defense from the virus, and after the match, urged other folks that they would now be “free from the coronavirus”.

Our correspondent says that the southern piece of Bangladesh is extra non secular, with other folks there “passionately believing that Islamic sermons and prayer are in a put to resolve their considerations”.

In step with the Dhaka Tribune newspaper, the prayers conducted were that of the Six Quranic Verses of Therapeutic.

Image copyright Junayed Al Habib
Image caption The Six Quranic Verses of Therapeutic were conducted, says the Dhaka Tribune

Mass outbreak fears

In Indonesia, a mass non secular gathering due to be held over three days, 19-22 March, has been cancelled.

Authorities had for days tried to persuade organisers to not toddle forward with the match, for anguish that it would lead to a mass outbreak in cases.

On Thursday, organisers indirectly agreed to murder, but by that point, around 10,000 other folks – 474 of them other folks from out of the country – had already made their system to Gowa, a regency within the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi, for the match.

Provincial authorities urged native media retailers that there were plans to “quarantine” international nationals in native accommodations for 14 days. They also said they were reaching out to officials in a complete lot of provinces to be determined the native participants could perhaps be quarantined upon their return dwelling.

None of the participants must this point been confirmed to maintain the virus, however the nation now has a national complete of 309 confirmed cases, with 25 deaths.

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