“If people feel unwell, have flu or cough, then it is better for them to stay at home. Here (at the mosque) if possible, allow (entry to) only those who are healthy. So, everyone can feel comfortable,” said Ms Wahidayah, another worshipper at Istiqlal Mosque.
JOKOWI’S CONTROVERSIAL BAN
Ramadan is also a time when Muslims eat together after a day of fasting.
In a controversial move, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, last Tuesday (Mar 21) banned civil servants from staging iftar gatherings, citing caution on the continued spread of COVID-19.
The government has since clarified the ban does not apply to the public and pertains to the ongoing crackdown on excessive displays of wealth by tax officials.
“Government officials are currently under a glaring public spotlight (for lavish lifestyles),” said Indonesia Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.
“Hence, the president asked government officials to hold breaking-of-fast gatherings in a modest way, and not to invite any high-ranking officials when they hold the events.”