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May 5, 2021, 12.49 AM

“Do not feel that the [situation] is safe, because it is not. Not yet!”

Gadjah Mada University or UGM epidemiologist Dr. Riris Andono Ahmad is even more dire in his warnings.

Also read: Tourist Attractions in Covid-19 Medium, High Risk Zones Prohibited From Opening During Idul Fitri Holiday 

The Director of the university's Center for Tropical Medical Science drew a parallel of situations like the Tanah Abang market stampede with the Covid-19 surge in India that has seen cases skyrocket to more than 400 thousand on a daily basis.

“There should be no place for large crowds. The ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 cases in India originated after 3.5 million people converged for a religious festival,” he said.

“[Covid-19] transmission could happen to those who were vaccinated or contracted the coronavirus, but mostly those who experienced neither of these. The more we run into crowds, the more likely we will disregard health protocols, increasing the chances of transmission.”

Riris warned that the concentration of crowds like those in Tanah Abang ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays, as well as the government’s encouragement to travel after the holidays, will lead to a surge cases similar to those in India.

However, Jokowi and Riris’ warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears among people like Amir. While he acknowledged the possibility of Covid-19 transmission among crowds, he is confident that he will stay safe.

“Transmission of Covid-19 can be prevented with the use of hand sanitizer as disinfectant after touching items, as well as wearing masks,” he said.

Farizky is also certain that he can avoid Covid-19 transmission. “I am certain I can keep myself safe [from Covid-19], as long as I can wear my mask properly.”

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