The Jakarta Post
The public has been encouraged not to leave town for the upcoming long weekend on Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the safest ways to spend the holiday is taking a virtual tour from the comfort of your own home.
“People are getting really creative now with the advancement of technology, we can take advantage of that,” Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria said on Thursday as quoted by tribunnews.com.
He said many Jakartans spent their holidays in Puncak, Bogor, Anyer or Bandung. However amid the pandemic, he called on people to take extra precautions when outside their homes.
Separately, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi predicted there would be an up to 20 percent increase in vehicle movements during the long weekend.
Therefore, spending your holidays at home is the safest choice.
He said if people had to leave their home, he encouraged them to follow health protocols and to arrange that their travels accordingly.
“We predict the peak outflow of vehicles will be on Oct. 28. Therefore, we advise people to avoid traveling on that day so there will not be overcrowding that has the potential to cause transmission clusters,” Budi said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Thursday.
According to data from the national COVID-19 task force, the Idul Fitri break from May 22 to 25 and the long weekend to commemorate Independence Day in August were associated with spikes in COVID-19 cases.
Over Idul Fitri, there was a 69 to 93 percent increase in weekly cumulative cases in 10 to 14 days, while the Independence Day extended weekend saw an increase of 58 to 118 percent within 10 to 14 days.
Previously, the task force’s spokesperson, Wiku Adisasmito, encouraged people to spend the upcoming long weekend at home to help prevent a spike in COVID-19 infections.
He quoted a study by Ying Zhou et. al. in August that stated reducing mobility by 20 percent within the city had a notable effect on controlling the spread of COVID-19, flattening the peak number of cases by 33 percent and delaying to the peak by two weeks.
Moreover, a 40 percent reduction in mobility could reduce cases by 66 percent and delay the peak by four weeks.
Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Griffith University, also warned that the upcoming long weekend would pose another test for Indonesia’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, as holiday periods were associated with an increase in COVID-19 infections.(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.