Bandung, W Java (ANTARA) - The West Java Tourism and Culture Office commenced massive rapid testing on Thursday to detect travelers symptomatic with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during this long weekend in the province’s 54 tourist destinations.

"The frontline health workers are equipped with hazmat suits and rapid test kits. They randomly serve the visitors. Those diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms will be subject to swab tests," Head of the West Java Tourism and Culture Office Dedi Taufik stated.

In conversation with ANTARA here on Thursday, Taufik noted that all visitors headed to the 54 tourist destinations in West Java were requested to partake in this rapid testing program to proffer a sense of security during their trips to the province.

"We also appeal to the travelers to abide by the COVID-19 preventive measures as mandated in the government's health protocols," he affirmed.

Related news: As asymptomatic cases rise, COVID-19 testing gains traction

In the run-up to the long weekend, Taufik spoke of having visited several locations in Sukabumi and Pangandaran to witness the application of health protocols at hotels, restaurants, and tourist sites there.

Taufik observed that for their businesses, the local tourism and hospitality industry players had offered hand-washing facilities and thermometer guns for measuring body temperature as well as restricted the capacity of visitors.

The long holiday season can trigger a spike in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 as was observed during the last Idul Fitri when the daily and weekly count of confirmed cases rose between 69 and 93 percent within 10 and 14 days, he pointed out.

Related news: COVID-19: People advised to stay at home during long holiday

The Indonesian government has declared October 28 and October 30 this year as collective leave days, while October 29, which marks Prophet Muhammad's birthday, is also a public holiday.

Speaking in connection with this long weekend, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil appealed to city and district administrations across the province to intensify mitigation efforts to contain the potential spread of COVID-19.

In a letter to city mayors and district heads in West Java, Kamil outlined six directives, including a request for people to stay vigilant by adopting preventive measures, as mandated by the government's health protocols.

"Governor Ridwan Kamil has also urged local residents to refrain from traveling outside West Java. Instead, they have been advised to stay with their families at home during the long weekend," head of the West Java COVID-19 Task Force, Daud Achmad, stated on Wednesday.

The district heads and city mayors are also obligated to ensure that all tourist sites, amusement centers, markets, food courts, train stations, bus terminals, and airports strictly enforce COVID-19-related health protocols, he remarked.

Related news: Avert spike in COVID-19 cases over five-day-long holidays: Jokowi

As of October 26, 2020, the number of people recovering from COVID-19 in Indonesia had risen by 3,908, thereby taking the total count of recoveries to 317,672, according to the national COVID-19 task force.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has recorded 3,222 new COVID-19 cases, thereby bringing the total tally of infections to 392,934, the task force informed.

With 112 more patients succumbing to the virus, the death toll has reached 13,411.

Among the 34 Indonesian provinces, Jakarta has reported the highest number of new recoveries at 1,162, with 905 people testing positive for COVID-19, while 13 individuals succumbing to the infection.

West Java has reported 442 new recoveries, 431 new cases, and 15 deaths.

Related news: Jakarta governor warns of long holiday creating family clusters

Translator: Ajat S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2020