“The COVID-19 cases and transmission rate in Indonesia are still high. We advise the public to cancel trips unless they are urgent,” spokesperson for the Task Force for COVID-19 Response, Wiku Adisasmito, said at an online press conference here on Tuesday.
Several research studies have shown the correlation between lower mobility of people and a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, he said.
According to one published study (Zhou et al 2020), a 20-percent decline in the mobility of people in a city can lower the curve of COVID-19 cases by up to 33 percent and postpone the emergence of the peak by two weeks, he informed.
Another study (Yilmazkuday, 2020) tracked COVID-19 cases in 130 countries and found that if the number of people staying at home rose by 1 percent, the number of new cases declined by 70 and the number of deaths dropped by 7 per week, he added.
Studies have found that a 1-percent decline in the number of people using public transport facilities at bus terminals, railway stations, and airports can reduce the number of new cases by 33 and the number of deaths by 4 per week, he continued.
Adisasmito recalled that the long weekend on August 20-23, 2020 had raised the curve of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia and given rise to new clusters of COVID-19 transmission.
"This happened due to crowds in several places visited by the public during the holidays," he pointed out.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed his staff to take steps to keep COVID-19 cases from increasing during the five-day holiday.
“We have experienced this in the past, with a rather high increase (in the number of COVID-19 cases) after the long holidays a month and a half ago (end of August, 2020)," the head of state noted while chairing a limited cabinet meeting on ‘Anticipation of the Spread of COVID-19 During Long Holiday’ in late October, 2020 here recently.
As of October 18, 2020, Indonesia has shown an improvement in terms of handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The percentage of active COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has declined compared to the previous month to reach 17.69 percent, which is lower than the global percentage of 22.54 percent.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's current cure rate stands at 78.84 percent, which surpasses the average cure rate of 74.67 percent for COVID-19 patients worldwide.
The government has declared collective leave on October 28 and October 30 this year, as October 29 is a national holiday that marks Prophet Muhammad’s SAW anniversary. October 31 is a Saturday, while November 1 falls on a Sunday.
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