Indonesia has seen a significant decrease in active COVID-19 cases, the National COVID-19 task force stated on Thursday.
Active cases are the number of confirmed cases minus the number of recovered cases and deaths. The statistic represents the number of cases still considered to be infectious.
The task force’s spokesperson and experts team coordinator, Wiku Adisasmito, said in a virtual press conference that as of Thursday the country had 63,576 active cases, 16.8 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed so far, adding this figure was lower than the 21.9 percent recorded globally.
Meanwhile, the number of recovered patients has also increased to 301,006.
Wiku explained that 91.26 percent of confirmed cases were active in March and that this percentage had decreased to 81.57 percent in April and 71.35 percent in May before dropping to 23.74 percent last month.
“We hope it will continue to decrease until there are no more active cases and all patients have recovered,” he said, saying the number of active cases could be lowered by curbing the spread of the virus.
“Everyone can participate in reducing the number by practicing the ‘3M’ health protocols, menggunakan masker [mask wearing], mencuci tangan [hand-washing] and menjaga jarak [social distancing],” he added.
However, despite the significant drop in active cases, Wiku shared that 12 cities still had more than 1,000 active cases for weeks.
Among the 12 cities, Padang in West Sumatra and Pekanbaru in Riau have the highest number of active cases with 2,816 and 2,909, respectively.
“These are big cities where the economy has been actively running,” he said.
Wiku urged the local administrations in these cities to work harder to reduce the number of active cases by strictly supervising the public’s compliance with health protocols.
It has been more than seven months since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the first COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.
Since then, the public has become more accustomed with the 3M health protocols.
An online survey conducted by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) from Sept. 7 to 14, involving 90,967 respondents across the archipelago, revealed that more Indonesians were now complying with requirements to wear face masks in public.
BPS head Suhariyanto said the rate of public compliance with mask wearing requirements had increased 8 percent since April, noting that compliance with hand-washing and physical-distancing protocols had somewhat declined.
Therefore, it is necessary to increase public awareness about the need to thoroughly follow health protocols.
“Ideally, these three parameters – mask wearing, hand washing and physical distancing – should be parallel,” said Suhariyanto during a press conference livestreamed on the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BNPB) official YouTube channel last month.
“After all, what good does wearing a mask do without regularly washing our hands and keeping a safe physical distance?” he added. (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.