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Jakarta Post

Solving Indonesia's invisible infection clusters

  • Sean Harsha


Jakarta   /   Thu, September 17 2020   /  01:00 am
New normal: Residents of a rooming house in Jakarta take part in a video call with their family members after Idul Fitri prayers on Sunday, in line with large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measures that require them to avoid large crowds. Reuters/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana(Reuters/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

Untraceable and invisible. Contagious and dangerous. These words describe the infection clusters at kos-kosan (rooming houses) that are seldom discussed, yet require serious attention if Indonesia truly wants to start taking control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Infection clusters are nothing new. They have been popping up left and right ever since the start of the health crisis, most notably at office buildings, where the rate of infection has spiked as some companies prioritize business over health, forcing employees to commute to work from home. As reported by The Jakarta Post on July 29, Jakarta alone saw at least 90 distinct office clusters emerge – a number that has continued to rise due to poor ventilation, a lack of space for social distancing and the lax enforcement of health protocols. When the workers at these offices return to their rooming houses, they bring the d...