"The step must be taken soon since the risk of COVID-19 transmission has reached a community level, and if it is not prevented soon, it would become impossible to control the spread of COVID-19 to the areas serving as the destination of Eid al-Fitr homeward travelers," he noted in a written statement released on Tuesday.
Soesatyo made the remarks in response to the World Health Organization (WHO) statement that the COVID-19 pandemic has reached a community transmission stage in Indonesia, thereby translating to the fact that it is difficult to trace a source of transmission since it has spread widely.
He also urged the public to support the ban on the Eid al-Fitr homebound exodus.
As a precautionary measure to prevent significant community transmission of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the central government should intensify coordination with regional administrations in connection with the strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as a result of the Eid al-Fitr homebound exodus.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has officially barred all citizens from traveling to their hometowns during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"At today's meeting, I have decided on banning the 'mudik' (Eid al-Fitr exodus) tradition for all citizens," President Jokowi stated at a virtual meeting to discuss precautionary measures in connection with the homecoming tradition at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Annually, millions of people travel to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in a tradition known as mudik.
Jokwoi remarked that the decision was taken in line with the evaluation conducted by the Transportation Ministry.
"Based on the Transportation Ministry's survey, 68 percent of the people will not have the mudik tradition, 24 percent insist on mudik, and seven percent have already returned to their hometowns. It means that 24 percent are still left," the president explained. Related news: 356 Indonesians repatriated from Thailand after flights suspended
Related news: President bans "mudik" for citizens to contain COVID-19 spread
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