In the video, Muslim worshippers on a “Dawah” (missionary) pilgrimage are encouraged not to be afraid of the novel coronavirus and to march to locations where Covid-19 is spreading.
Reports have suggested that some religious leaders in the Muslim-majority deep South may have shared similar messages. The rumours have fuelled criticism on Thai social media that this might be one reason why Covid-19 has spread so quickly in the far South.
The Public Health Ministry reports that the number of Covid-19 cases in the deep-South provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla and Satun has reached 230, second only to infections in Bangkok.
Dozens of these tested positive after returning from religious gatherings in Malaysia and Indonesia.