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Outbreak of Covid 19 Delta: Indonesia bans Christmas and New Year holidays to stop the surge

A woman wearing a face mask as a precautionary measure against the outbreak of coronavirus walks in a shopping mall in Tangerang, Indonesia. Photo / Tatan Syuflana, AP

The Indonesian government has banned state-owned and private-sector civil servants and workers from taking vacations from December 24th to January 2nd to limit the possibility of an incident explosion during the festival.

Previously, authorities canceled the pre-Christmas group holiday on December 24th and shortened the Christmas holidays. This meant that only Christmas days would be counted as holidays.

President Joko Widodo said on October 28 when he canceled Christmas Eve: “Christmas and because almost all epidemiologists are afraid that it could cause a third wave between Christmas and the New Year. I hope I can manage the New Year well. ” Holiday.

The new strict restrictions enforced by Interior Minister Tito Karnavian have also announced that they will impose restrictions not only on arts, culture and sports activities, but also on school activities.

The public square will also be closed from December 31, 2021 to January 1, 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Although 87% of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, Christmas is still widely celebrated by 10% of Indonesians who identify themselves as Christians (about 10 million).

According to Strait Times, 4.2 million civil servants, 2 million workers in state-owned enterprises, and many workers in the private sector are affected, and workers are being asked to postpone taking annual leave.

Official orders banning workers from taking vacations have raised dissatisfaction with Indonesia’s minority Christian population, but the country’s fears of outbreaks resulting from large holidays are potentially justified. increase.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the State Capitol in Jakarta.Photo / Indonesian Presidential Palace via Associated Press
Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the State Capitol in Jakarta.Photo / Indonesian Presidential Palace via Associated Press

Indonesia’s deadly second wave surge occurred just two weeks after the Islamic Hari Rayaid Alfitri festival, but the government warned against restricting people’s movements.

“We all understand that at these moments we miss our families and relatives, especially the next Lebaran,” said President Widdo at the time.

“But let’s prioritize the safety of our community by not returning home. For the safety of our families and relatives, ourselves, and society as a whole, Ramadan to break the pandemic chain. Let’s go through. “

Nonetheless, mass movements have helped the highly contagious delta mutants sow the community.

The first cases found in the small Kudus Regency on Indonesia’s largest island of Java increased from 137 on May 14 to more than 1000 just 17 days later. By June 24, this number had increased exponentially again to 12,985.

A woman was vaccinated with the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination at the University of North Sumatra in Medan, North Sumatra. Photo / Binsar Bakkara, AP
A woman was vaccinated with the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination at the University of North Sumatra in Medan, North Sumatra. Photo / Binsar Bakkara, AP

The infectious disease spread rapidly to other parts of Indonesia, and by July Indonesia was declared the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in Asia.

After experiencing catastrophic outbreaks in July and August, Indonesian authorities are undoubtedly eager to avoid a similar situation. It is estimated that 82,000 Indonesians died from Covid between June and August, and the current number of Covid deaths is 144,000.

At that time, Nikkei Asia reported that the country’s per capita deaths exceeded India, but on July 15, daily infections reached a pandemic high of 56,757.

However, experts have estimated that the number is probably higher. Gusti Ngurah Mahardika, a professor at the University of Udayana and a senior virologist, spoke with Al Jazeera because the government used a rapid antigen test rather than a reliable and superior fanonolimerase chain reaction or PCR test to detect Covid. Said.

More than two months later, Indonesia hopes that Bali will reopen for tourists and return slightly to normal, with the country’s average 7-day number of cases dropping to 10.

However, there is no doubt that the memory of the deadly Covid crisis still remains.

“The central government is currently doing things very carefully because it is traumatized by what happened in Indonesia,” medical researcher and data coordinator Septian Hartno told Al Jazeera in September. Told.

“But if they lift all restrictions, the price will go up again.”

Outbreak of Covid 19 Delta: Indonesia bans Christmas and New Year holidays to stop the surge

SourceOutbreak of Covid 19 Delta: Indonesia bans Christmas and New Year holidays to stop the surge

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