The Jakarta Post
Baduy people are seen walking in Kanekes village on Oct. 15, 2017. (Shutterstock/ Learnmoreandmore)
The Baduy tribe, which lives in the remote parts of Lebak regency, Banten province, has reportedly not been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak after recently observing the traditional Kawalu ritual for three months.
No visitors or tourists were allowed to attend the ritual, which was observed by members of the Baduy Dalam tribe in Cikeusik, Cibeo and Cikawartana hamlets.
According to Antara news agency, the settlement of the approximately 11,600 people has seen no visitors enter as villagers continue with their lives as usual by farming in fields, beekeeping, cultivating palm sugar and making kain tenun (woven cloth) by hand.
The tribe is popular among tourists who visit to observe these traditional activities, in addition to enjoying the natural beauty of the regency’s landscape.
Read also: Tips for visiting Baduy village
"We guarantee that this settlement is free from the deadly coronavirus as no one has been found to suffer from it and we are also implementing health checks on visitors before they enter," Kanekes village head Jaro Saija told Antara in Lebak on Sunday, adding that the residents were also prohibited from going outside the villages, particularly to red zones such as Jakarta, Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok and Bogor.
Tribe members who are currently staying outside their hometowns have been urged to return but not before undergoing health checks at local community health centers (Puskesmas) prior to being granted entry.
Separately, COVID-19 task force spokesperson for Lebak, Firman Rahmatullahami, confirmed there were zero cases in the regency.
In order to maintain a clean health record, the administration is providing education on health protocol and restricting visitors from COVID-19 red zones.
"We are working hard to make sure Lebak and the Baduy people are free from the pandemic," Firman said.
According to data on siagacovid19 lebakkab.go-id, as of Sunday, the administration recorded 539 people under surveillance (ODP), of which 503 people were declared safe, 25 patients under treatment (PDP) and five deaths. (kes)
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