Jakarta. A total of 42 Thai Muslims who attended a multinational religious rally in Gowa, south Sulawesi, on March 18, have since tested positive for Covid-19. At least 80 Thai nationals came to Gowa for the Islamic tabligh rally, which was canceled at the last minute due to fears that it would lead to mass coronavirus infections.
“The Thai Ministry of Public Health said that the 42 Thai nationals returned from Indonesia on a Lion Air charter flight arriving on April 6 at Hat Yai Airport in Songkhla. Their return was facilitated by Thai embassy in Jakarta, “Ahmad Rusdi, the Indonesian ambassador to Thailand, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
More than 8,000 pilgrims from 10 countries, including Indonesia, had already descended on Gowa before local authorities ended the event.
It is not known where the Thai people acquired the coronavirus, but they passed a screening test at Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta when they left. They tested positive for Covid-19 when they returned to Thailand.
“They passed the selection process in Soekarno-Hatta before they left Indonesia,” said Ahmad.
“They are now being observed by the Thai authorities. We have reported the case to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Ahmad.
Currently, there are 3,000 Indonesian citizens in Thailand. Two tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We have had two Indonesian citizens here who have tested positive for Covid-19, one is currently receiving treatment in Cambodia, and the other is under quarantine in Bangkok. They are both in good condition,” said the ambassador.
Some Indonesian citizens have been stranded in Thailand after his government barred commercial flights from entering the country until April 18.
“We have several students who were scheduled to return to Indonesia on April 10 and 11 on a Garuda Indonesia flight. But they are now stuck here,” said Ahmad.
“We met the students and gave them food, vitamins and money. We asked Garuda Indonesia to board them on the next flight to Jakarta,” he said.
He said the Indonesian embassy in Bangkok had already helped some students to return to Indonesia earlier in March.