The government's Covid-19 spokeswoman Reisa Broto Asmoro in Jakarta on June 12, 2020. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Regulations During Restrictions Are Guides to Adapt to Risks

AUGUST 13, 2021

Jakarta. The regulations imposed during strict social restrictions are a guide to help people adapt to risks, according to Reisa Broto Asmoro, the government's Covid-19 handling spokesperson.

Indonesia is implementing a Covid-19 restriction scaling system that ranges from level one to four with level four being the most stringent . Recently, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas issued a new circular regarding the reopening of worship places with capacity limits in level three and four regions. This circular will be in effect until August 16.

"What we are doing is adapting to changes and the new normal. This circular and other regulations made during the strict social restrictions and up to August 16 should not be seen as a relaxation or restriction [of Covid-19 curbs], but it is a guide to adapting to risks," Reisa said in a press statement on Friday.

According to the circular, worship places in Java and Bali are capped at 25 percent (20 people) and must comply with strict health protocols. Likewise, worship places in the level four districts/municipalities in Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, and Papua can open at a 25 percent capacity (30 people). The circular is available in the Religious Affairs Ministry official website.

Meanwhile, the daily tally is still at thousands, and not to mention the new coronavirus variants. Indonesia also has not reached its target of vaccinating over 208 million people or about 70 percent of the population. For these reasons, Reisa warned the public to continue keeping their guards up by adhering to the safety protocols.

Nothing New
In her statement, Reisa read out the disease control guide, which encompasses promoting a clean and healthy lifestyle, campaigning coughing and sneezing ethics, boosting immunity, treating comorbidities. As well as infection prevention and control. Also, active contact-tracing and mass screening particularly for vulnerable and high-risk population. 

Reisa also quoted the 2016 Health Ministry Regulation on tuberculosis — a disease that has been in Indonesia for decades. And even until now, Indonesia remains one of the highest tuberculosis burden countries.

"This is similar to what we are doing now. There is nothing new about the health protocols that we are currently implementing. We are adapting with the disease prevention steps that have long been promoted," Reisa said.

According to Reisa, the handwashing campaign dates back to 1847. Mask-wearing was already implemented since the 1918 influenza pandemic. Physical distancing was taught more than 590 years ago when Muslim scholars had to face tha'un or the plague. 

"Perhaps the current health protocols can help lower tuberculosis, diarrhea, and seasonal flu," Reisa said.

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