Indonesian Islamic scholars are seeking to avoid the usual mass homecoming for Eid-al-Fitr, forbidding people from travelling home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The fatwa was issued on Friday by the Indonesian Council of Ulema a day after President Joko Widodo, decided to allow millions of Muslims to travel to celebrate Eid in their hometowns next month, despite fears that they could spread the coronavirus,
“The virus spreads very easily. Doing something like that at a time of a pandemic is haram [forbidden],’’ the council’s sectary general Anwar Abbas said.
Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to start on May 23, depending on the sighting of the new moon.
In 2019, about 15 million Eid revelers travelled from the greater Jakarta region to their hometowns in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia rose to nearly 1,986 on Friday after 196 new cases were reported, in the biggest daily jump so far, the Health Ministry said.
The death toll rose to 181 after 11 new deaths, making Indonesia the country with the highest number of fatalities in Asia outside China.
The State Intelligence Agency warned that the outbreak in Indonesia could peak in June with more than 105,000 cases.
The president on Tuesday issued a decree for a national health emergency and ordered large-scale social restrictions.(dpa/NAN)