North Konawe's tourist sites closed to stem COVID-19 transmission

North Konawe's tourist sites closed to stem COVID-19 transmission

Taipa Beach in North Konawe District, Southeast Sulawesi Province. ANTARA/HO-North Konawe District Public Relations

Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The government of North Konawe District, Southeast Sulawesi Province, has kept its tourist sites, including Taipa Beach, closed to stop people from thronging them during this Idul Fitri holiday season to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

"To break the chain of (transmission) of this new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the tourist sites have been temporarily shut down," North Konawe District Head Ruksamin noted in a statement that ANTARA received here Monday.

The local residents have been accustomed to thronging Taipa Beach and several other tourist sites around the district's administrative areas during the Idul Fitri holiday season, but owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district government has barred their entry to those places.

In response to the government's policy, Jumrin, a local seller of fresh drinks at Taipa Beach, admitted to being sentient of the criticality of closing the beach and other tourist sites to stave off the spread of COVID-19 despite its economic brunt.

Jumrin, a resident of the Lasolo Sub-district area, sought the government’s assistance for himself and others running small businesses impacted by the closure of tourist sites and the application of COVID-19 preventive measures.

Other regional governments too have followed suit in terms of closing public access to tourist sites. In West Sumatra, Governor Irwan Prayitno called on all city mayors and district heads across the province to keep their tourist sites closed until May 29, 2020.

Prayitno also cautioned his people to not travel to any tourist destination in the wake of the government’s ongoing endeavors to flatten the curve of new coronavirus cases by imposing large-scale social restrictions.

"We are still striving to flatten the curve. Please do not travel (during this Idul Fitri holiday season) to halt the extension of contagion areas," Prayitno emphasized.

Prayitno expressed belief that large-scale social restrictions and distancing measures would help to effectively break the chain of COVID-19 transmission. To this end, he urged people in West Sumatra to not throng tourist sites during the Idul Fitri holiday.

The West Sumatra provincial government has enforced large-scale social restrictions from April 22 to May 5. It then extended the policy until May 29 to prevent the inflow of homebound travelers' vehicles into the province.

Indonesia and several other nations worldwide have been battling the spread of the new coronavirus disease over the past few months. The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first two confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 2.

This deadly coronavirus surfaced in Wuhan in the end of December 2019, but China's lack of transparency and goodwill to tell the truth of human-to-human transmissions from the start has resulted in its global spread.

This ongoing coronavirus pandemic has severely affected Indonesia's tourism industry owing to the enforcement of large-scale social distancing measures and travel restrictions as well as border closure that has considerably reduced foreign tourist arrivals.

As a result, business players in the tourism sector, such as hotels, restaurants, creative industries, and informal businesses, have sent several of their workers home. In West Java Province alone, at least 48,289 workers were sent home.

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