Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has warned residents of the capital to be careful of COVID-19 transmission from family members as they enjoy a five-day weekend.
In a video address on Wednesday, the governor said transmission within families made up around 39 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the capital, with 4,684 clusters infecting more than 36,600 people.
“This means there are a lot of infections that actually occur in our families, often because when we feel like we know [the other people], we don't use masks properly, don't keep a physical distance and don't wash our hands routinely,” Anies said.
With increased activities and interactions expected during the long holiday, Anies urged residents to comply with health protocols to ensure their safety.
“Remember, being with someone we know doesn’t mean that transmission stops,” he added.
As Muslims all over the country celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on Thursday, the government has declared Wednesday and Friday collective leave days, making a five-day weekend.
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 weekends in August had caused a spike in transmission in some regions. Regional leaders in some cities and provinces, including in Jakarta, have advised their residents against taking trips.
Early this month, Bekasi city, Bekasi regency, Depok city, Bogor city, and Bogor regency in West Java reported a rising number of COVID-19 family clusters that forced West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil to pay extra attention to the five regions.
According to the results of contact tracing, the family clusters were connected to office clusters, as breadwinners of the family mostly work in and commute to Jakarta on a daily basis.
“Many of them work in office buildings, such as banks and hospitals. New clusters at such offices created new family clusters in Depok,” said Depok COVID-19 task force spokesperson Dadang Wihana.
The Depok administration revealed that roughly 60 percent of its residents commuted daily to Jakarta — the hardest-hit city in the country — for work. Jakarta itself had reported at least 90 office clusters by the end of July amid the gradual reopening of businesses and the economy.
As of Sunday, Indonesia has recorded 412,784 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 13,943 fatalities. Jakarta remains the epicenter of the outbreak with 105,597 cases and 2,251 deaths. (mfp/iwa)
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