Papua's Tolikara residents asked to refrain from holding hands

Papua's Tolikara residents asked to refrain from holding hands

A view of the administrative center of the Tolikara municipality in Papua province. (ANTARA/Marius Frisson Yewun)

We are asking people to refrain from holding hands since they would have no way of knowing who is already a virus carrier
Wamena (ANTARA) - The government of Tolikara in Papua province has urged residents to refrain from practicing a local custom of holding hands, temporarily, in wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Residents have been advised to adopt a clean lifestyle, follow the health protocol, and remain calm as the COVID-19 outbreak rages globally, Anton Warkawani, the municipality secretary, told ANTARA on Tuesday.

"We are asking people to refrain from holding hands since they would have no way of knowing who is already a virus carrier," Warkawani noted, adding that the custom of holding hands is centuries-old among the people of Papua's central mountains.


"We have also just disseminated information related to the coronavirus, and debunked rumors, among residents in Wenam district," he said.


This area of Tolikara has not reported any confirmed cases of coronavirus, but remains prepared for the worst with the government discussing precautionary measures in anticipation of possible transmission through the land as well as air routes.

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