Jakarta. The National Covid-19 Task Force bans non-essential travels for a week starting on Sunday to prevent a new wave of infections during Idul Adha, one of the most important holidays for Indonesian Muslims.
The announcement came after daily Covid-19 death toll topped 1,000 on Saturday as the surge in newly cases is worsening due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
Task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said past experience has taught that long holidays could cause new cases to increase five-fold.
Essential workers and people with medical emergency are exempt from the ruling.
Muslims are told to avoid Idul Adha prayer in congregation, they should pray at their homes instead, Wiku said.
On Idul Adha, Muslims slaughter livestocks as an offering to God after a mass prayer and distribute the meat to the poor. In pre-pandemic times, the holiday was celebrated by the entire neighborhood and provided a chance to gather all family members.
Indonesia has recorded nearly 52,000 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 2.8 million.
A further 1,092 Covid patients have died in the same period, the second-highest daily death toll after a record 1,205 deaths only a day earlier.
The virus has killed 72,489 people in Indonesia since the outbreak began.
Only 16.2 million people have been fully vaccinated out of around 270 million of the country’s population.
Southeast Asia’s biggest country now has 527,872 active cases of coronavirus, according to government data.