JAKARTA (Reuters) – A rally of Muslim pilgrims that is drawing thousands of people to Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province has been postponed amid fears that it could help spread the new coronavirus, a local official said.

Authorities had been trying to persuade organizers to stop the event at Gowa near the city of Makassar after a similar event in Malaysia led to hundreds of infections.

The head of Gowa regency, Adnan Purichta Ichsan, posted on social media late on Wednesday that organizers had “finally agreed” to postpone the event.

“We did not stop communication and coordination with the core committee,” he said, adding that pilgrims would be isolated while arrangements are made for them to leave Gowa.

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