Jayapura's Youtefa market closed to contain COVID-19 outbreak

Jayapura's Youtefa market closed to contain COVID-19 outbreak

Youtefa market. (ANTARA Papua/Muhsidin)

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Jayapura COVID-19 Task Force has instructed the Youtefa market operator in Abepura Subdistrict, Papua Province, to shut down the market for three days starting from Saturday to break the chain of novel coronavirus disease.

The traditional market was temporarily closed because some 100 merchants diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms had yet to get quarantined, according to the task force head, H.Rustan Saru.

Some 38 other merchants had also not taken swab tests yet, Saru said.

Following the closure, the city's traditional market looked deserted on Sunday because several hundred merchants closed their kiosks to respect the task force's decision.

"We are reopening our kiosks on July 14 as instructed by the city government's COVID-19 Task Force," said Ambar, one of the Youtefa market's merchants.

The local economy is expected to get recovered soon so that local traders like him are again able to run their business activities, Ambar said.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our business. We hope that the condition will return to normal," Ambar added.

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Papua is one of Indonesia's provinces that has incessantly striven to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Amid its ongoing fight, some 52 paramedics reportedly contracted the disease.

Fortunately, most of them made a full recovery, spokesman of the Papua provincial administration's COVID-19 Task Force, Silwanus Sumule, noted in his recent press statement.

Sumule sought complete honesty and transparency from local community members on their health condition to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to paramedics on the frontlines in the fight against the outbreak.

The spokesman stressed on the pressing need for locals to adopt a disciplined approach in applying healthcare protocols, for instance, by wearing face masks while venturing outdoors, washing hands, and practicing physical and social distancing measures.

Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Since then, COVID-19 has spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.

The Indonesian government officially confirmed the country's first cases on March 2 this year.

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