The Jakarta Post
A barista presents a cup of coffee to a customer in Panembahan subdistrict, Kraton district, Yogyakarta. The coffee shop is operating under health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama )
To curb the spread of COVID-19, the government has been urging people to wear face masks in public.
After months of promoting the “3M” health protocols of mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing, an online survey conducted by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) from Sept. 7 to 14, found that 92 percent of 90,967 total respondents said that they had been wearing face masks in public. Some 75 percent and 73 percent of respondents said they regularly washed their hands and maintained a safe physical distance, respectively.
But not everyone understands how to properly store face masks in public while they are not being worn.
Alfi Auliya Rachman, a general practitioner at Family Medical Center (FMC) Hospital in Bogor, West Java, said it was best to carry two containers for face masks while going out.
“One container can be used to keep a mask that has been worn, while the other one is used to store an unused face mask,” Alfi said on Wednesday, as quoted by antaranews.com.
He added that the face masks could be covered with a tissue or clean cloth to prevent contact with other belongings.
Alfi suggested that diners at restaurants remove their face masks entirely instead of pulling them below their chins.
He also recommended cleaning one’s hands before touching one’s masks in public, holding the mask by the ear loops and placing it in a container when not in use.
He asked that people change their face masks once every four hours, or when they became wet or dirty.
Separately, Mualim Hawari, a doctor that has recovered from COVID-19, said that some people remained unaware of health protocols.
He encouraged COVID-19 survivors to educate others about the protocols.
He acknowledged that it was not an easy task to educate people about the importance of following the 3M health protocols, and therefore, he suggested that COVID-19 survivors at least try to inform the people around them.
Alim, a medical services manager at PKU Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta Hospital, said he frequently saw people gathering at Titik Nol Kilometer (Kilometer Zero) of Yogyakarta on Saturday night and removing their face masks while taking pictures.
“We’ve informed the local administration about this issue. If it continues to happen, when the pandemic is going to end?” he said. (jes)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.