The Jakarta Post
The national COVID-19 task force has urged the public to spend the upcoming long weekend at home in order to help prevent a spike in coronavirus transmission amid concerns of a re-emergence of holiday clusters.
“We strongly urge everyone to avoid going to public places during the holiday. Please stay at home, there will be other holidays in the future,” task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
He also demanded that regional governments identify tourist attractions and ensure health protocols are observed in each attraction.
The upcoming long weekend centers on the public holiday celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Maulid) on Thursday, combined with collective leave days from Wednesday to Friday and the ensuing weekend.
Wiku said those who planned to go on vacation must adhere to the necessary health protocols. The task force said regional administrations should identify their tourist attractions and ensure the strict implementation of health protocols.
The administrations and tourist destination managements must also limit the number of visitors to 50 percent of capacity to prevent crowds gathering, he said.
Local governments, especially in tourist areas, must also be vigilant to anticipate long weekend COVID-19 clusters. He said previous long holidays had contributed to spikes in confirmed cases at the national level, referring to record-high new cases from a long weekend in August.
“There is no pause for the pandemic. Therefore, the government and the public need to remain cautious and cooperate to prevent new cases,” he said.
He added that local governments must also ensure health protocols during the various celebrations including prayers, festivals and cultural activities commonly held to mark Maulid.
As of Tuesday, the country had seen a total of 396,454 COVID-19 infections with 13,512 deaths and 322,248 patients recovered. The Health Ministry has so far tested 2.78 million people. (aly)