JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has warned about the dangers of Covid-19 transmission at home following the recent discovery of family clusters in Bogor, West Java.
“I urge the public to abide by health protocols in their homes, as the Covid-19 chain of transmission can pass there as well,” the head of state said during a cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Monday, September 7.
Jokowi urged officials to re-evaluate their preventive measures. “So far, we have only been focusing on public places. We tend to be complacent in our houses and do not realize we need to take precautions [in the home] as well.”
Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto highlighted family clusters last weekend, months after the authorities found clusters in public places like offices or houses of worship.
“Family clusters made up 189 cases, or 34.17 percent of the 553 cases found in Bogor. They account for the majority of cases compared to other clusters,” Bima said to state news agency Antara on September 6. “We traced those cases to 48 family clusters.”
Griffith University, Australia epidemiologist Dicky Budiman is just as alarmed by the emergence of family clusters. “[Family clusters] is a symptom of the high rates of infection among the public,” he told Kompas.com.
“Local governments should have announced [the family clusters’ existence] immediately and ensure people in [high-risk] areas have access to health facilities or be in self-isolation.”
Dicky added that the authorities should also step up efforts to trace family clusters. “Family clusters are population-based, so it is important to trace any persons linked to them.”
“Usually they are asymptomatic individuals we refer to as ‘super spreaders’ who travel and see many people because they feel fine. The people they infect would show symptoms as they are more vulnerable to the pandemic, such as the elderly.”
Dicky warned that super spreaders and the family clusters they infect can increase the number of cases, and by extension, deaths from Covid-19.
The number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia currently stands at 196,989 since the country recorded its first case on March 2.
According to the Covid-19 Task Force website www.covid19.go.id, 8,130 people died in the pandemic, while 140,652 people recovered from the disease.
(Writers: Ihsanuddin, Jawahir Gustav Rizal, Dian Erika Nugraheny | Editors: Icha Rastika, Sari Hardiyanto, Bayu Galih)
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