The Jakarta Post
Dozens of domestic tourists taking advantage of the long weekend from Wednesday to Sunday were found to be reactive after taking COVID-19 rapid tests as mobility jumps across the country.
At Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world located in Magelang, Central Java, authorities confirmed that two visitors had tested positive for the disease.
The tourists, who came from Medan, North Sumatra, and Tangerang, Banten, were tested during a screening conducted by the local health agency.
“From the rapid tests that we conducted on 150 individuals on Friday, six of them came out reactive. Those who showed reactive results were immediately subjected to [polymerase chain reaction] swab tests and two came out positive for COVID-19,” Magelang Health Agency head Retno Indriastuti said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.
She added that the agency had asked the people who tested positive to self-isolate in the nearest available facility and contact a hospital if they experienced any symptoms.
The agency had performed rapid tests on a total of 305 visitors at the Borobudur temple on Wednesday and Thursday, with 23 showing reactive results. None of them, however, tested positive for in the follow-up swab tests.
As of Friday, Magelang has reported 1,016 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 28 fatalities, 824 recoveries and 164 patients still being treated in hospitals.
Read also: Random COVID-19 screening conducted at 54 holiday spots in W. Java
In the Puncak area of Bogor, West Java, 50 visitors were reactive to rapid test results on Thursday. They were then given swab tests and asked to return home.
Bogor Regency Health Agency head Mike Kaltarina said most of them had traveled from outside the regency.
“We have prepared 1,000 rapid test kits for today [Thursday] and tested 919 visitors,” Mike told kompas.com, adding that the random testing was to remind people that COVID-19 transmission was still happening.
Meanwhile, the West Java administration reported a total of 78 travelers with reactive rapid test results as of Friday. The suspects were discovered during a random screening at 54 tourist attractions across the province’s 14 cities and regencies.
West Java Health Agency medical service division head Marion Siagian urged visitors in a written statement on Saturday to comply with the advised health protocols, including wearing masks properly and regularly washing their hands with soap or hand sanitizer.
Last week, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reminded Cabinet members to prevent an increase in COVID-19 cases during the long weekend, given that the previous long weekend in August had contributed to a spike in transmission in several regions.
While travelers are expected to boost local economies, regional leaders in some cities and provinces have advised their residents against going on a vacation. (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.