Home Minister Tito Karnavian has encouraged the public to spend the next long weekend at home amid concerns over a potential spike in COVID-19 cases during the holidays.
He advised against traveling to other regions and visiting popular tourist destinations to prevent further transmission of the deadly coronavirus throughout the long weekend, which includes the collective leave days from Oct. 28 to 30 and the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad on Oct. 29.
“Based on our previous experience, long weekends usually entail high mobility […] potentially triggering [COVID-19] transmission,” Tito said following a meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday.
He called on the public to spend the holiday period with family members at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
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Furthermore, Tito said the central government had scheduled a meeting with several regional heads later this week to minimize mobility among the public amid health concerns.
He suggested that regional administrations re-apply similar protocols that were in effect during the Idul Fitri holidays earlier this year, such as mandatory quarantine for domestic tourists.
“Tourist destinations may become [virus hotspots], which is why they need to be seriously discussed among regional heads,” Tito said, while also calling for the postponement of social and cultural events for the sake of public health and safety.
Jokowi previously urged all related stakeholders to take anticipatory measures amid concerns over a possible spike in COVID-19 cases across the country throughout the long stretch of national holidays later this month.