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Jakarta Post

West Java to random test tourists for COVID-19 during long weekend

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 27, 2020   /   07:06 pm
West Java to random test tourists for COVID-19 during long weekend A visitor takes a picture of an interactive multimedia art installation at Sudut Pandang in Puncul, West Bandung regency, West Java, on Oct. 23. (Antara/Raisan Al Farisi)

The West Java administration will carry out random COVID-19 tests on tourists visiting the province during the long weekend from Oct. 28 to Nov.1, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Monday.

"Don't be surprised if you're politely stopped by officials from the [COVID-19] task force on your trip and asked to take a COVID-19 test," Ridwan said, adding that the task force would also coordinate with police officers to carry out the program.

The West Java COVID-19 task force will use both rapid and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

They will be carried out in outdoor tourist spots during the day and in cafes, bars and nightclubs during the evening.

According to Ridwan, the program aims at preventing a spike in new COVID-19 cases after the long weekend, such as what happened after the Idul Adha holiday in July.

He urged tourist spots and nightclubs to remain disciplined in implementing health protocols.

"Nightclub operators, please pay attention to the maximum capacity [of the venues], the distance between tables and air circulation. If you promise to limit your capacity to only 50 percent, please remain disciplined. Any violation will result in [temporary] closure," Ridwan said.

Bandung Deputy Mayor Yana Mulyana urged visitors who planned to visit the city to adhere to health protocols.

"We can’t ban people from entering Bandung. So, I urge visitors to remain disciplined in following our health protocols: use masks, keep yourself clean, wash your hands frequently with soap," Yana said.

The Transportation Ministry has also ordered random checks on vehicles heading out of Jakarta ahead of the long weekend to ensure every public transportation operator adheres to health protocols.

"We will emphasize to the entire ranks of the Transportation Agency that the upcoming holiday is not only a matter of traffic but also the implementation of health protocols," said Budi Setiyadi, the ministry’s land transportation director general.

The ministry expects more than 600,000 vehicles to travel out of Jakarta for the long weekend.

West Java recorded a slight decrease in its basic reproduction number (R0) and hospital occupancy rate in the final week of October.

"The virus basic reproductive number has fallen to 0.98 from 1," Ridwan said, referring to the number of people who can catch COVID-19 from a single infected person.

"Meanwhile, the hospital occupancy rate has decreased to 56 percent from 60 percent in the previous week.”

However, the province’s positivity rate remains high.

"We recorded a 17 percent positivity rate. Ideally, we should be at 5 percent," Ridwan explained. (adi/nal)



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.