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Jakarta Post

Family virus clusters: Jakartans must be more disciplined, expert says

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, November 29, 2020   /   03:18 pm
Family virus clusters: Jakartans must be more disciplined, expert says Medical workers take blood samples from tourists in the Puncak tourist area of Bogor, West Java, on Oct. 29. The Bogor regency administration offered free rapid and swab tests for COVID-19 as part of its efforts to prevent virus transmission on the long weekend that ended on Nov. 1. (Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

As the majority of COVID-19 transmission in Greater Jakarta came from family clusters, a pulmonologist has urged Jakartans to be stricter in following health rules.

“Several reports received by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency [BNPB] stated that the majority of cases in Jakarta came from family clusters, in which [a family member] brought the virus into the house,” pulmonologist Agus Dwi Sasonto said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com

He went on to say that Jakarta residents needed to pay more attention to the risk of coronavirus infection among family members. 

The family cluster situation begs questions about the need to wear a face mask inside the home. 

According to Agus, taking off a face mask inside the home should be fine as long as each family member followed strict health protocol upon conducting activities outside of the house.

“The problem is, can we actually guarantee that a certain family member has heeded the protocols? Therefore, please follow the [health advice properly] so that we can take off our masks inside the house,” he said.

Agus advised people who were unsure whether they had followed health rules properly to keep wearing a face mask inside their house, especially if they lived around people belonging to the vulnerable group, “such as senior citizens or people with comorbid diseases.”

“We have to keep our distance from them, since we might carry the virus from outside [the house],” he explained.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan previously warned Jakartans over the long weekend that caused the spike in cases in the province. 

He stated that the spike in COVID-19 cases in September was due to the long weekend in August. Anies also warned the public to prevent any recurrence of such a situation. 

“[Going on a trip on] a long weekend is indeed tempting, but COVID-19 is still around us. Please do not let our joint effort go to waste,” Anies said through his personal Instagram account on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of Jakartans reportedly left the city during the five-day weekend from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. 

State-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga reported a 40 percent increase in toll road users on the long weekend, while Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, counted 64,021 passengers for more than 600 flights. 

The COVID-19 task force stated that the number of positive cases in Indonesia reached 522,581 on Friday with 5,828 new cases logged over the preceding 24 hours. Meanwhile, 437,456 people have recovered, while the number of fatalities increased to 16,521, including 169 new deaths in a single day. (dpk)

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.