Bangladesh Mass Prayer Event Prompts Alarm amid Corona-virus Pandemic

According to an eyewitness who attended the Bangladesh mass prayer event, about 30,000 individuals were present.

The event in Bangladesh, which was attended by tens of thousands of people, triggered mixed reactions as there were a dozen concerns that the incident posed a risk of spreading the new coronavirus.

On the contrary, Tota Miah, the principal of local authorities, told AFP information firm that only 10,000 Muslims who had gathered in Raipur community to hope “healing verses” from the holy book of Koran.

Elsewhere in Malaysia, a similar religious event that occurred in February has been confirmed to be the origin of over five hundred infections. The gathering, which was attended by 16,000 people, has also led to confirmed cases in neighboring Brunei, Singapore, and Cambodia, as people how attended traveled home.

This led to the prohibition of all public celebrations by Malaysia’s federal government in the nation as well as secured down its boundaries in a bid to control further spread of the infection.

Consequently, as a learned lesson from Malaysia, a similar mass religious gathering in Indonesia was canceled at the last minute this week. The mass spiritual gathering was to be held for three consecutive days from 19th to 22nd of this month.

On Thursday, organizers lastly consented to terminate, yet already, around 10,000 individuals – 474 of them individuals from abroad – had currently made their means to Gowa, a rule in the Indonesian district of South Sulawesi, for the event

In Bangladesh, 17 cases have been confirmed with one confirmed death due to coronavirus, although most health experts are skeptical over the official figures. The organizers of the religious event at Raipur in Lakshmipur district did not get permission from the authorities to hold the event.

According to locals, the prayer and protection event was organized by a renowned local spiritual leader in the small town who had requested people to join him in praying for protection. After the fact, he told people that they would now be “free from the coronavirus.”

Bangladesh provincial officials said that plans were underway to quarantine foreign nationals in local hotels for 14 days. Also, they added that they were reaching out to authorities in other provinces to make sure the local participants would be quarantined upon their return home.

On the brighter side, none of the participants have so far tested positive for the coronavirus. The country has, as of now, 309 confirmed cases nationally, with 25 deaths.

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