Holiday-goers have a picnic at city park inside Senayan Sports Complex in Central Jakarta on August 21, 2020. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Long Holidays May Double Daily Number of Covid Cases


OCTOBER 20, 2020

Jakarta. The National Covid-19 Task Force warned against traveling during long holidays next week as it could trigger an uptick in newly coronavirus cases.

Task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said on Tuesday consecutive holidays can result in a more than 100 percent surge in the number of infections based on experience in the past.

People should avoid crowded tourist spots and continue observing medical advices when going to public, he said in a daily news briefing in Jakarta.

“Because long holidays have been a proven cause for a spike in confirmed cases at the national level,” Wiku said.

He noted that within two weeks after Idulfitri, the most important holiday for Indonesian Muslims that fell in May this year, the daily number and seven-day average of coronavirus cases had jumped by between 58 percent and 118 percent.

Indonesia, which has the biggest Muslim population in the world, will celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad in Islamic calendar on Thursday, Oct. 29.

The government has added two extra holidays on Wednesday and Friday, leading to uninterrupted five-day long weekend.

The decision was made in August to compensate reduction in Idulfitri leaves from a week to three days as the government sought to prevent exodus in the wake of the pandemic.

The country has recorded 3,602 new cases of coronavirus since Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 368,842.

The virus has so far killed 12,734 people in Indonesia, while more than 293,000 patients have recovered from the disease.

Worst-hit Jakarta reported daily number of below 1,000 cases for the fourth day in a row, but the capital still averages 1,124 cases since the beginning of the month.

It has a total of 96,217 coronavirus cases, more than any other provinces. Jakarta has the second-highest death toll, with a total of 2,068 Covid-19 deaths.

East Java registered 300 more cases, its highest daily count in a week, to take the province’s total to 49,474, including 3,582 deaths.

West Java came next with a total of 31,250 cases, an increase of 472 on the total number the day before.

Central Java added 449 cases for a total of 29,844, including 1,607 deaths.

Combined cases from the four provinces on Java Island account for 56 percent of the national tally.

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In the second group of worst-affected provinces, Riau and West Sumatra are still demonstrating a strong pace in new transmissions and looking set to move up further in the ranking of provinces with the most cases.

Both have overtaken at least five provinces to join the top ten since early September.

Riau, now is ranked eighth, passed the 12,000 mark after adding 167 more cases. Only eight of the country’s 34 provinces have passed the grim milestone, but West Sumatra has indicated to add the list within the coming days with its current pace.

West Sumatra has been averaging 255 cases since Oct. 1, the highest daily average after the top four. It has accumulated 11,373 cases since the outbreak -- an overwhelming majority has come within a span of one and a half months.

The surge is slowing a bit in three other provinces in the top ten -- South Sulawesi (17,593 cases), North Sumatra (12,125) and South Kalimantan (11,488).

However, daily number in East Kalimantan is climbing to an average of 169 from 147 in September. It has a total of 12,038 cases.