Jakim postpones yearly Quran recital to curb Covid-19

The International Quran Recital and Memorisation Assembly has been held for the past 60 years and was to be attended by 60 countries this year. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has postponed an international religious event scheduled next month to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Its director-general, Paimuzi Yahya, said the April 6-11 International Quran Recital and Memorisation Assembly was supposed to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

“It has been put off to a new date which will be notified later,” he said in a statement today.

He said the decision was made after the government’s decision to ban all public gatherings, including domestic and international events, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Yesterday, 39 cases were reported in the country, bringing the total number to 197.

Paimuzi said the recital was an annual event held for the past 60 years and it was to be attended by 60 countries this year.

Last night, in a special address, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said the Covid-19 crisis is not expected to end any time soon, given the increasing number of cases recorded globally.

He said the rising number of new cases had been traced to two Covid-19 clusters, mainly involving Malaysians.

The health ministry had also revised its earlier count of Malaysians attending a tabligh (missionary) convention at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling in Kuala Lumpur recently to 14,500 from the initial 5,000.

The ministry said that the ijtima tabligh event, held from Feb 27 to March 1, was attended by 16,000 people, of whom 14,500 were Malaysians. The remaining 1,500 were foreigners.

Health ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was reported as stating that 40 of the Malaysian attendees of the Sri Petaling event had tested positive for Covid-19.

Of these 40 cases, four were reported in Negeri Sembilan, four in Johor, two in Pahang, 15 in Sabah, three in Kelantan, two in Perak, five in Penang, one in Perlis, two in Kedah and two in Labuan.