Task force warns of COVID-19 transmission in refugee shelters

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The COVID-19 task force has warned of potential SARS-CoV-2 transmission in refugee shelters as the threat of natural disaster looms in some regions on account of the La Nina phenomenon.

“We have called on local governments, especially those in disaster-prone areas to prepare the necessary equipment and facilities, in accordance with the health protocols,” spokesperson for the Task Force for COVID-19 Handling, Wiku Adisasmito, said at an online press conference here on Thursday.

Wiku also urged people to adhere to the health protocols such as wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining physical distancing, during their stay in refugee shelters.

“Local governments must adopt close monitoring, including testing and tracing, if necessary, in the shelters, and there must be a synergy between local government, local institutions, the military and police, as well as the public to prevent the emergence of (COVID-19) refugee clusters,” he remarked.

The authorities should keep the refugee shelters clean, he said. If possible, he continued, people should avoid sheltering in tents, and they must have ample supply of masks and hand sanitizers, and use their personal utensils for eating. “They can use nearby accommodation as shelter,” he advised.

In addition, medical workers should be readied at the locations, he said.

“I have called on local governments, especially in disaster-prone areas to prepare the equipment and facilities in accordance with the health protocols,” he reiterated.

Indonesia will experience the rainy season in the next six months. The La Nina phenomenon is expected to further increase rain intensity by 40 percent, and could even spark some hydro-meteorological disasters, such as floods, flash floods, landslides, and whirlwinds.

“Unfortunately these threats of natural disaster have come amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is already posing a danger to public safety,” Adisasmito said.

 

 

Source: Antara News