Rizieq Shihab refuses swab test amid suspicion he’s infected with coronavirus

The leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, Habib Rizieq, gestures as he speaks upon his arrival at police headquarters for questioning in Jakarta, Indonesia January 23, 2017.  REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
The leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, Habib Rizieq, gestures as he speaks upon his arrival at police headquarters for questioning in Jakarta, Indonesia January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is refusing health screening by authorities, sources close to him say, as those who have been closely associated with his return from Saudi Arabia two weeks ago have tested positive for COVID-19 in the dozens.

Rizieq returned to Indonesia on Nov. 10, after more than three years of self-imposed exile, to huge crowds of supporters. He subsequently held events that attracted thousands, including his daughter’s wedding, which local authorities were unable to prevent.

Related — Jakarta Metro Police Chief Nana Sudjana dismissed over Rizieq Shihab homecoming crowd health protocol violations

In the past week, however, Rizieq has been quite reclusive, with those close to him saying he’s in good health but is resting in his Petamburan, Central Jakarta residence. On Saturday evening, police and military personnel were deployed to Petamburan requesting that Rizieq undertake a swab test, as health authorities have identified new COVID-19 clusters from Rizieq’s recent events with at least 50 people testing positive so far.

However, Rizieq refused to be swab tested with his family stressing that he’s just resting at home. Without a warrant, the police and military were not able to order Rizieq for testing.

“We have our own [medical] team. The government need not bother, just stay calm,” FPI Deputy Secretary General Aziz Yanuar said on Sunday.

“He’s healthy. There are no problems, God willing.”

There have been no reports yet on whether or not Rizieq has individually carried out COVID-19 screening.

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CITY: JAKARTACATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: HEALTH, POLITICS, RELIGIONTAGS:

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