M’sians attending tabligh event in Indonesia will be quarantined upon return (Updated)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians who are currently in Indonesia to attend the now-cancelled international tabligh gathering will be put under quarantine on their return home.

Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Immigration Department has been notified of the government’s decision and will be monitoring all international entry points in the country to identify the individuals.

He said it was estimated that about 89 Malaysians are currently in Gowa, Makassar in Indonesia, with thousands of other Muslim pilgrims at the event.

“We take note of the concern shared by the rakyat on this group. We view this matter seriously and have instructed immigration officials to take the necessary action at our entry points.

“When they (Malaysians in Indonesia) enter Malaysia, they will be quarantined for 14 days at designated quarantine centres,” he told a press conference after a special ministers’ meeting on the implementation of the restriction of movement control order (MCO) here, today.

Ismail also explained that the Malaysians who had left for Indonesia had flew out of the country before the movement restriction was imposed on Wednesday.

The programme in Gowa, which was estimated to have attracted over 8,000 people, was called off earlier yesterday for fear that it could help spread the Covid-19 virus.

The cancellation of the event comes just weeks after a similar gathering in Malaysia led to hundreds of individuals being infected by the virus.

Ismail said, at present, about 4,000 Malaysians who attended the tabligh gathering in Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling earlier this month have yet to be traced and identified by the authorities.

“The police have decided to track them down themselves. And I personally would also like to urge these individuals to come forward and undergo the necessary health checks,” he said.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein added that efforts have already been made to identify all those who were involved in the religious gathering in Indonesia.

In the meantime, organisers of the talibgh gathering at Masjid Jamek, Seri Serdang, have disconnected themselves from the Indonesian gathering, saying that they played no role in sending any Malaysians to Indonesia, nor were they involved in any part of organising the event there.

According to Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s Facebook post, to date, only 10,650 of the overall estimated 14,500 individuals who attended the mass gathering have been traced.

Of this figure, 4,986 samples have been taken with 513 of those testing positive for Covid-19.

The other 4,000 plus are asked to come forward to get themselves tested before the authorities do.

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