Indonesian Medical Association Urges Govt to Close Borders Temporarily Over New Covid Variants
Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Medical Association Slamet Budiarto urged the government to tighten access for foreigners who want to enter Indonesia.
He stressed the need to close borders temporarily or at least extend the quarantine period for all arrivals in the country.
"Borders must be closed [temporarily] or at least if we don't [close the borders] the quarantine period should be extended from three or five days to 10 days," said Slamet on Sunday, June 27.
Slamet also called for the government to reimpose the partial lockdown or large-scale social restrictions (PSBB). According to him, the implementation of micro-scale community activity restrictions (PPKM) is no longer effective to curb the Covid-19 transmission.
Slamet went on to say that to prevent an economic collapse following the reimposing of partial lockdown, workers could still go to the offices but only 25 percent of the total number of employees for a maximum of four hours a day.
A similar rule can also be applied to the transportation sector by allowing only a 25 percent capacity limit for four hours. Besides, the regulations should no longer be based on the category of low-, medium-, and high-risk zone of infections because people continue to move.
The most important thing to do now is to limit people's movement on a large scale. "So, the point is to reduce the movement of the people first. Even if people still use transportation, the number needs to be limited. For example, for health workers, they need transportation and [those who need to deliver] food supplies," said Slamet.
The number of new Covid-19 cases continues to climb. The National Covid-19 Task Force recorded more than 21,000 confirmed cases from June 26-27, the highest daily number of infections since Indonesia announced its first two cases in March 2020.
Currently, the total number of people who contract coronavirus reaches 2,115,304 people. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the National Covid-19 Task Force Wiku Adisasmito said that the development of the Delta Covid-19 variant, which was first detected in India, has been closely monitored by the government.
The Ministry of Health said the Delta variant was mostly found in Jakarta, Kudus regency, and Bangkalan regency, where the transmission of the virus occurs more quickly.
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