Tourists enjoying the scenery at the peak of Sikunir Hill at Dieng Plateu in Central Java on October 2, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Gov't Prepares to Avoid Third Covid Wave on Year-End Holidays

NOVEMBER 08, 2021

Jakarta. The government is preparing several policies to prevent a Covid-19 third wave during the year-end and Christmas holidays — a period that will likely increase people’s mobility and the spread of the delta variant viruses. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet. The government is assessing various policy recommendations ahead of the Christmas and 2022 New Year,” Communications and Informatics Minister Johnny G. Plate said on Friday.

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According to Johnny, these regulations are to keep people safe from the third wave of Covid-19 infections. He worried that people’s mobility might increase during the year-end holidays, eventually leading to a third wave.

“For this reason, the government has prepared several scenarios,” the minister said.

The Covid-19 task force has urged all tourist sites to operate at a limited capacity and form health protocol task forces.

“[We are] still assessing other regulations, along with the other related ministries and bodies,” Johnny said.

The government will continue to remind the tightening and monitoring of health protocols, particularly in churches during the Christmas celebrations.

It will also maximize the use of the Covid-tracing app PeduliLindungi in public spaces.

Johnny added, “the government will continue to encourage people to remain compliant to the health protocols so Indonesia’s Covid-19 cases can be on a steady decline.”

According to Indonesian Epidemiologists Association chairman Hariadi Wibisono, Indonesia has seen an uptrend in cases for the past few days, including a jump from 600 positive to 800 cases.

This uptrend even occurred before Indonesia entered its holiday season. Thus stringent mobility rules are necessary to prevent a third Covid-19 wave from occurring. 

“There need to be restrictions similar to the one during the Idul Fitri homecoming [‘mudik’].  If not, we will face a setback,” Hariadi said. 

Indonesia experienced the Covid-19 surge in July, following the Idul Fitri holiday a month earlier. At its peak, the country recorded more than 50,000 new cases and saw hospital beds and critical medical supplies like oxygen run out across the country. 

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