The Health Ministry has urged regional governments to enforce health protocols in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further during the long weekend.
The government has declared Wednesday and Friday collective leave days, surrounding the public holiday of Maulid (commemoration of birthday of Prophet Muhammad) on Thursday.
In a circular issued on Monday, Minister Terawan Agus Putranto urged regional administrations to educate the public about health protocol, including washing hands regularly, keeping a safe physical distance from others and wearing masks.
“The high number of people moving and interacting [throughout the extended weekend] carries a huge [risk] of spreading the coronavirus,” Terawan said in a statement.
Terawan also encouraged the regions to promote a healthier lifestyle by, among other measures, setting up more handwashing stations in public places.
Furthermore, he urged people vulnerable to the coronavirus disease, such as senior citizens and people with comorbid diseases, not to leave home during the long weekend unless necessary.
“The key to controlling the COVID-19 outbreak is discipline in implementing health protocols,” the minister went on to say.
Indonesian health authorities saw an increase in daily and weekly COVID-19 cases during the Idul Fitri break from May 22 to 25 and during the long weekend to commemorate Independence Day in August.