Health Ministry boosts campaign on wearing face masks against COVID-19

Health Ministry boosts campaign on wearing face masks against COVID-19

A resident wearning face mask passed a mural on the campaign against COVID-19 transmission in Depok, West Java on Thursday (Aug 13, 2020). ANTARA FOTO/Wahyu Putro A/wsj

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is stepping up the campaign to wear masks to avert the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in line with a recent order of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

According to a survey by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), 80 percent of Indonesians wear masks, but the remaining 20 percent do not follow the practice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Director of Health Promotion and Community Empowerment of the Ministry of Health Riskiyana Sukandhi Putra noted in his statement here on Thursday that the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 virus loomed large over 20 percent of the population.

Putra drew attention to the importance of proper use of face masks, right from selection of the type of masks to the right way to wear, remove, and properly dispose them.

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The government will follow up the face mask campaign with public campaigns stressing on the practice of washing hands with soap and water or by using a hand sanitizer as well as maintaining physical distancing.

"Later, it will be clubbed together into one message. The messages pertain to wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining a safe requisite distance. It will conducted one at a time in order to make it the focus," Putra stated.

The government has in place a special strategy to campaign for the use of masks among members of the public until they become accustomed to it and raise self-awareness on always wearing them.

Putra expounded that wearing masks was a crucial practice in reducing up to 50 percent of the risk of transmitting COVID-19. However, masks should be used properly and be supported by other health protocols, such as handwashing with soap under running water and ensuring a physical distance of at least one meter among people.

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