Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases spike to 12,990

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia recorded 12,990 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours amid a fresh surge in infections, bringing the total tally to 1,963,266, Indonesia’s Task Force for COVID-19 Response reported here on Friday.

Meanwhile, the number of people recovering from the virus climbed by 7,907, taking the total recoveries to 1,779,127.

With 290 people succumbing to the virus, the death toll climbed to 54,043.

Indonesia also registered 4,793 additional active COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total to 130,096, while the number of suspected cases reached 111,635.

Jakarta recorded the highest single-day increase in cases at 4,737, which accounted for 36.47 percent of the national increase on June 18, 2021.

Meanwhile, West Java contributed 2,791 cases (or, 21.48 percent of the total cases), followed by Central Java, which added 1,331 cases (10.25 percent), East Java 731 cases (5.63 percent), Yogyakarta 592 cases (4.56 percent), and Riau 353 cases (2.72 percent).

Jakarta accounted for 2,517, or 31.83 percent, of the single-day recoveries, followed by West Java, which added 1,292 recoveries (16.34 percent), Central Java 790 (9.99 percent), Java East 408 (5.16 percent), and Riau 366, or 4.63 percent, recoveries.

The provinces with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases were Jakarta (463,552), followed by West Java (340,455), Central Java (223,076), East Java (162,116), East Kalimantan (73,363), and South Sulawesi (62,878).

Jakarta also recorded the highest total recoveries at 431,004, followed by West Java (309,184), Central Java (190,857), East Java (145,976), East Kalimantan (70,323), and South Sulawesi (61,337).

Source: Antara News

Governor urges Jakarta residents to stay at home on weekend

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan again made an earnest request to those residing in Jakarta to not venture out of their homes on the weekend in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We call on all residents of Jakarta and the adjoining areas to stay at home on Saturday and Sunday, except if they have urgent needs,” Baswedan remarked following a meeting with Chief of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Inspector General Fadli Imran and Commander of the Jakarta Military Command Major General Mulyo Aji here on Friday.

The governor called on the people to get a grip of the current situation in Jakarta wherein COVID-19 cases had soared considerably in the past few days.

The public, on its part, should cut down outdoor activities that may put them at risk of contracting the lethal virus.

“Reduce outdoor activities. Decrease activities that will potentially cause interactions that may make (you) exposed (to the virus). In essence, we must follow health protocols, including wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and washing hands,” he remarked.

Baswedan emphasized that activities should be conducted indoors not only on the weekend but also on holidays in future.

The governor had earlier attributed the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the capital to the Eid holidays that led to a new wave of coronavirus infections.

To tackle the COVID-19 case surge, President Joko Widodo, on Tuesday, summoned the Jakarta Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda) and issued directives on ways to deal with a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

The forum comprised Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, chief of the Jakarta Provincial Legislative Assembly (DPRD), Prasetyo Edi Marsudi, Commander of the Jakarta Regional Military Command, Major General Mulyo Aji, chief of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police, Inspector General Fadil Imran, and mayors and resort police chiefs from across Jakarta.

The president called on the Jakarta administration to expedite COVID-19 vaccinations amid a surge in cases.

He drew attention to the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in Jakarta, with the entry of a new variant from India being one of the reasons.

A 50-percent increase in infections was recorded in the capital city, with the number of cases soaring to 17,400 on June 11, 2021, from 11,500 on June 6, 2021, according to Baswedan.

The COVID-19 positivity rate also rose to 17 percent on Sunday, from nine percent a week earlier.

Source: Antara News

Govt expedites genome analysis process to detect COVID-19 variants

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The government is committed to accelerating the whole genome sequencing (WGS) process, a comprehensive method for conducting whole-genome analysis, to detect new variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The WGS process to detect variants of the coronavirus, which earlier took a fortnight, is sought to be expedited to a week, according to a press statement from the COVID-19 Task Force in Jakarta, Friday.

Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, remarked that the WGS results would serve as an input for the government in formulating policies to stem the spread of the disease.

“The WGS results are used to control the distribution of the COVID-19 variant that spreads to various regions in Indonesia,” he noted.

Adisasmito believes that the faster the inspection period, the quicker the data needed to formulate appropriate handling policies will be obtained.

The spokesperson expounded that the WGS examination was not conducted on all cases of COVID-19 transmission but only in certain cases.

“For instance, cases with unusual symptoms as well as cases in foreign travelers and others,” Adisasmito clarified.

He also stressed on the significance of applying health protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 variants.

“There is no other way as good as the discipline of health protocols. That is why we can break the chain of transmission effectively and efficiently,” he affirmed.

“Those, who are sick and infected, should undergo treatment according to procedures to speed up recovery,” the spokesperson noted.

Source: Antara News

Solo’s university temporarily closes after 3 lecturers die of COVID-19

Solo, Central Java (ANTARA) – The University of Sebelas Maret (UNS) in Solo, Central Java, has temporary closed its campus and imposed activity restrictions for a week after three of its lecturers died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Yes, restrictions are applied on activities from June 18 to 25,” UNS Rector Jamal Wiwoho stated here on Friday.

During the period of restrictions on activities on campus, lectures and meetings were conducted online using information and communication technology, he remarked.

In the event of an emergency, an offline meeting could be held by applying strict health protocols.

The three lecturers, who died of COVID-19, were from the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and Faculty of Engineering respectively.

Moreover, several staff and lecturers at various faculties at the state-run university had contracted COVID-19 and are still undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The UNS rector has urged all deans at the university to regularly report the development of cases of COVID-19 transmission in each faculty.

“Indeed, almost every faculty currently has COVID-19 cases,” he stated.

The university and relevant government agencies have conducted case tracing and examinations to detect transmission of the coronavirus.

“According to standards, our family and all those, who are closely related, are included in the tracing process,” he remarked.

Source: Antara News

Over 11.96 million Indonesians fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Jakarta (ANTARA) – More than 11.963 million Indonesians have received their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Thursday afternoon, according to data provided by the Task Force for COVID-19 Handling.

With 147,512 people receiving their second jab in the last 24 hours, the total number of fully vaccinated Indonesians has reached 11,963,330, the task force said.

Meanwhile, the number of Indonesians receiving their first dose of the vaccine has increased by 550,482 to reach 21,999,256.

The recipients of the first vaccine dose account for 54.52 percent of the 40,349,049 recipients targeted under the first and second phases of the national vaccination program.

Meanwhile, the number of fully vaccinated Indonesians accounts for 29.64 percent of the target.

The government is prioritizing healthcare workers, public service officers, and senior citizens in the first and second phases of the national vaccination program.

The inoculation of public service workers, including teachers and senior citizens, is still under way in several parts of the country.

Overall, the government is seeking to vaccinate 181.5 million citizens, or 70 percent of the population, to create herd immunity against the virus.

To speed up vaccinations, the government has been making efforts to expand the capacity of vaccination services.

Source: Antara News

Gojek undertakes massive vaccination drive across 29 cities

Jakarta (ANTARA) -Indonesian on-demand platform Gojek said it has launched a COVID-19 vaccination drive for driver-partners across 29 cities and districts to ensure the health and safety of partners as well as customers.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, the company said its vaccination drive is the largest among online transportation companies and is part of its commitment to ensuring the highest health, safety, and cleanliness standards.

Though coronavirus cases have continued to grow in Indonesia, there has been an increase in people’s activities outside of their homes, and this has upped the risk of further COVID-19 spread, according to Gojek’s chief transport officer, Raditya Wibowo.

“For that reason, for approximately the last four months, we continue to optimize our vaccination program in order to increase the safety and security of our driver-partners and Gojek customers on the road,” Wibowo said.

The company has also launched a feature within its app that allows passengers to check the vaccination status of their designated driver-partner. The feature is available on the latest version of the app, he informed.

Gojek has continued to collaborate with several parties, including Halodoc, the central and regional governments, as well as other related authorities to speed up the vaccination of all partners in Indonesia, he added.

Meanwhile, director of land transportation at the Ministry of Transportation, Ahmad Yani, has lauded the measures carried out by Gojek and dubbed its vaccination drive, which has covered 29 areas in less than four months, as an “extraordinary achievement”.

“I am optimistic that if all cross-sector players contribute to accelerating the government’s vaccination drive, as Gojek has been doing, we will soon recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

According to the director of the Center for Policy and Public Management at the Bandung Technology Institute’s School of Business and Management, Yudo Anggoro, the vaccination program has become the focus of many parties because it would not only benefit public health, but also give people who need to carry out activities outside the home a greater sense of security.

“Especially in the transportation sector, we found that the triggering factor for people’s sense of security, when required to travel, was the transportation driver’s vaccination status. This is, of course, the result of the collective efforts of the government and the private sector (players), such as Gojek, who continue to expand the vaccination program according to their respective fields and industries,” he said. (INF)

Source: Antara News

COVID-19 task force mulls nixing long holidays

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The national COVID-19 task force has said it is considering eliminating long holidays altogether to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections in the community.

“So, we are considering eliminating the long holiday, as it is always followed by an increase in cases,” said the task force’s head of behavior change, Sonny Harry B Harmadi, at an online productive dialogue entitled ‘Don’t be tired, don’t be careless. Obey the Health Protocol’, which ANTARA joined from here on Thursday.

According to Harmadi, the surge in COVID-19 cases currently seen in several regions in Indonesia was more likely caused by high public mobility and activity after the 2021 Eid holiday.

“This long holiday agenda is always followed by a spike in cases. We also realize that the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in Indonesia even existed before the long holiday. This means that the spike in cases occurred due to long holidays,” he noted.

The government tried to anticipate an increase in cases, based on the agenda of four long holidays in 2020, which led to a spike in active cases and death rates, especially the death rate of health workers, he said.

“However, the facts show that there are still quite a lot of people who returned to their hometowns (this year). It turns out that around 1.8 million people were going home before the enactment of the homecoming ban on May 6-17 (2021) and after,” he pointed out.

The government has predicted that any increase in public mobility will be followed by reduced compliance with health protocols, and thus trigger a rise in cases, he said.

Indonesia had earlier succeeded in reducing active cases to 87,662 on May 18, 2021 from more than 176,500 on February 5, 2021, he noted.

“So, actually we have succeeded in reducing (cases) thanks to increasing public compliance with health protocols, accompanied by a decrease in population mobility,” Harmadi said. (INE)

Source: Antara News

Minister plans Saudi visit for 2022 Hajj pilgrimage-related discussion

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas plans to visit Saudi Arabia at the end of August to discuss the implementation of the 2022 Hajj, so that preparations can be made at the earliest.

“We will go there as soon as we get permission from the Saudi Arabian government,” Cholil noted in a statement received in Jakarta, Thursday.

The minister deems this step necessary as a precautionary measure that the Indonesian government can take in the event of Saudi Arabia not opening the pilgrimage again.

This is since the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant in most nations worldwide and is beyond anyone’s scope of projection as to when it will end.

Saudi Arabia took the decision to not open Hajj pilgrimage in 2020 and 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision has become a valuable experience, particularly for the Indonesian government, to take precautionary measures early against varied possibilities that could occur.

“We do not know when this pandemic will end. We have canceled Hajj departures twice due to this pandemic. Hence, for next year, precautionary measures must be adopted earlier on,” he remarked.

The minister gauged that when compared to the global pandemic that has occurred, COVID-19 is an event that has had a major impact on the lives of people globally, including the movement across countries and continents.

“Currently, for instance, it is difficult to enter Saudi Arabia. Indonesian flights are currently not allowed to enter. This will certainly disrupt all activities,” the minister pointed out.

Hence, Minister Cholil is sanguine that all parties would exercise patience and continue to pray, so that the government’s efforts to prepare for the Hajj pilgrimage would run properly.

“We also expect cooperation to be able to edify prospective Indonesian pilgrims,” the minister remarked.

Source: Antara News