The Jakarta Post
Citing the recent elimination of COVID-19 red zones in East Java and South Sulawesi, the national COVID-19 task force has said other regions should take the provinces as examples of how to address the pandemic.
According to data published on kominfo.jatimprov.go.id, 28 of East Java’s 38 regencies and cities have lowered their COVID-19 statuses to orange, while the remaining 10 have been designated yellow zones. Previously, all the regions in the province were red zones. In June, East Java was declared a new COVID-19 epicenter as it had recorded the nation’s highest number of cases by province, surpassing Jakarta.
Based on the task force’s guidelines, regencies or cities at critical risk are categorized as black zones, those at severe risk are red zones, those at medium risk are orange zones, those at low risk are yellow and those with no known active cases of COVID-19 are green zones.
All of South Sulawesi’s 21 regencies and cities are now orange zones.
“All provinces must compete in stepping up efforts to fight COVID-19 in their respective regions. It’s prestigious if COVID-19 handling in a region becomes the best,” said national COVID-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito in a press statement recently.
He said weekly confirmed COVID-19 cases in both provinces had been declining and that neither province currently contained red zones.
East Java recorded an 8 percent decrease in weekly new COVID-19 cases last week, from 2,182 to 2,008. The recovery rate in the province is 88.53 percent.
South Sulawesi recoded a decline in weekly new cases, from 722 to 505, a 30.1 percent decrease. The recovery rate in the province is 81.93 percent, and the death rate has dropped 46.2 percent.
“Both [provinces] have a higher recovery percentage than the national average,” said Wiku.
East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said that despite the fact that COVID-19 transmission was coming under control in the province, residents should not let their guard down.
“Please keep adhering to health protocols until we can cut the chain of transmission totally,” she said, as quoted by kompas.com.
She thanked all the stakeholders who had cooperated to make the improvements possible.
“Thank you for all the hard work from regional and city administrations, the military and the police, attorney’s offices, courts, campuses, media outlets, health workers, religious leaders, volunteers and especially all the residents of East Java who are on front lines of controlling the spread of COVID-19 by being disciplined in wearing masks. They are the main factor in this success, she said in a statement published on kominfo.jatimprov.go.id.
Separately, South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah said the development was a source of pride for South Sulawesi residents, the South Sulawesi administration, the military, the police and health workers.
“What’s really encouraging is that South Sulawesi used to be the province with the highest number of COVID-19 cases outside Java, but now the national COVID-19 task force has declared that we are out of the red zone,” he said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
He said it was important to keep adhering to health protocols as a COVID-19 vaccine had yet to be found. “This doesn’t mean that we are free, so we need to tighten our discipline in imposing health protocols in our daily lives,” he added.
“To tell you the truth, we have no idea when vaccination can be carried out. The best thing we can do now is maintain our immunity with good nutrition, adequate rest and by consuming vitamins and avoiding stress,” Nurdin said. (iwa)
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.