Speculation that Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab has contracted COVID-19 has grown ever stronger after the firebrand cleric was admitted to a hospital in Bogor late yesterday evening due to “exhaustion.”
Ummi Bogor Hospital Director Andi Tatat said today that the hospital has obtained permission from Rizieq’s family to carry out a swab test on the high-profile patient.
“The family says they will follow the hospital’s and doctors’ advice,” Andi said.
The swab test is expected to be carried out today.
Previously, Rizieq refused the government’s request for a swab test after dozens who attended his mass rallies and events in recent weeks tested positive. Instead, Rizieq said he took a swab test commissioned by FPI, which the group said came out negative.
The news that Depok mayor hopeful Muhammad Idris tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday stoked further suspicion that FPI may be covering up the truth about Rizieq’s health, especially considering that Rizieq and Muhammad were photographed embracing when the pair met in Jakarta on Nov. 13.
Rizieq has been absent from the public eye for the better part of the past week, with those close to him saying that he is in need of some rest.