Rally clusters potentially trigger spike in COVID-19 cases: IDI

Rally clusters potentially trigger spike in COVID-19 cases: IDI

Chief of IDI Mitigation Team Dr M. Adib Khumaidi, SpOT. (ANTARA/ (Istimewa)

By singing various songs and chanting, of course, demonstrators released droplets and aerosols that potentially transmit coronavirus.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Medical Association’s (IDI’s) mitigation team opined that recent rallies against the job creation law will potentially create new clusters of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and give rise to new cases in Indonesia.

Thousands and even tens of thousands of people met in the rallies, with most of them clearly disregarding physical distancing norms and not wearing masks, Chief of IDI Mitigation Team Dr M Adib Khumaidi, SpOT noted in a written statement released on Friday.

"By singing various songs and chanting, of course, demonstrators released droplets and aerosols that potentially transmit the coronavirus," he stated.

To further aggravate matters, the demonstrators came from different cities or areas, he noted.

"If infected, they can spread the virus when they return to their community," he cautioned.

Khumaidi noted that the IDI mitigation team is not in a position to function as paramedics to assess the reason behind the people’s involvement in rallies.

"To this end, we clarify our concern from the medical and scientific standpoint that demonstrations have a higher risk (of spreading coronavirus) than other activities. It is believed that a massive spike (in the number of new cases) will be visible in one to two weeks," he stated.

Under such current circumstances, paramedics and health facilities have been overwhelmed to handle the rising number of COVID-19 cases, he pointed out.

In just the first week of Oct 2020, five doctors had died of COVID-19, he remarked.

"The figure brings the tally to 132 for the number of doctors succumbing to the disease. The fallen doctors comprise 68 general practitioners (including four professors) and 62 specialists (including five professors) and two residents," he noted.

Earlier, the IDI had warned that widespread rallies against the job creation law could give rise to new clusters of COVID-19 in the country.

“I am worried that the number of patients is (likely to) increase in future,” Prof. Zubairi Djoerban, chief of the IDI’s COVID-19 task force, stated here on Thursday.

The House of Representatives (DPR) and the Indonesian government on Monday passed the controversial omnibus bill into law amid mounting criticism over its provisions on labor rights, indigenous community rights, and environmental protection.

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