A year on, Indonesia still begins Ramadan amid Covid-19 restrictions

Bangkok, Apr 12 (EFE).- Indonesia, the country with the most Muslims in the world, was preparing Monday for the start of its second Ramadan since the Covid-19 pandemic, with reduced mobility and amid a full inoculation campaign, which will not interfere with fasting.

The Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s highest authority on Islamic affairs, said in March that the injection of the vaccine does not break the fast and is not considered hydration. It suggested however that they be performed at night to avoid possible adverse effects on bodies weakened by fasting, a criterion not supported by health authorities.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs declared Monday the beginning of Ramadan, which will last until May 12 without the traditional exodus of millions of Muslims at the end of this celebration, prohibited to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The Indonesian government had already decided to cut the holidays from eight to five days for Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of the fast, and announced Thursday a ban on internal travel by land, sea and air during those dates.

Authorities will establish traffic controls and block main roads, in addition to controlling the country’s ports.

In Malaysia, the second country with the most Muslims in Southeast Asia, Ramadan is also scheduled to begin Monday, although authorities have not announced specific restrictions related to Covid-19 for this fasting period.

About 88 percent of the more than 265 million Indonesians are Muslims, mostly moderate, although there are significant minorities of other religions, while in Malaysia Islam is the religion of almost 20 million people, 60 percent of the population. EFE


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