“According to the President’s directives, regional administration heads, either at the province or district or city level, particularly in Java Island, should be accustomed to observing the actual situation by learning the data, so precautionary measures can be immediately taken,” expert team coordinator and spokesperson for the COVID-19 Response Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito, noted in a press statement received here on Tuesday.
The requests follow a surge in infections over the last four weeks, with six provinces on Java Islands emerging as the biggest contributors to the rising cases in Indonesia — Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Yogyakarta, and Banten, he informed.
Adisasmito asked regional administrations to use data as the basis for drafting policies on COVID-19 handling so that the policies issued are right on target and are able to contain the spread of infections.
Based on data collected on Sunday (June 20, 2021), six provinces on Java Island recorded the highest increase in cases, including Jakarta, where cases surged 387 percent after another 20,634 patients tested positive for the virus.
Cases in West Java spiked 115 percent with the addition of 8,382 daily cases, Central Java saw a 105-percent jump in cases with another 5,896 people testing positive for the virus, while infections in East Java climbed by 174 percent with the addition of 1,852 patients.
Cases in Yogyakarta rose 197 percent with the addition of 2,583 daily cases, while Banten saw a 189-percent spike, with a total of 967 additional patients recorded in a single day.
The development has led to Indonesia experiencing an increase of 92 percent in weekly cases, on the national scale, in the last four weeks, Adisasmito disclosed.
“This is a very sharp spike and cannot be tolerated,” he stressed.
The current increase in cases has pushed up bed occupancy in isolation rooms of COVID-19 referral hospitals, Adisasmito noted.
“Even, the occupancy at five hospitals in these six provinces touched 80 percent as of Monday (June 21, 2021). Only East Java recorded below 80 percent (bed occupancy at): 66.67 percent,” he informed.
The rise in positive cases should serve as a strong reason for regional administrations to evaluate their pandemic control policy, he said.
To ensure the effectiveness of control policies, in particular the Micro PPKM, all elements have to do their tasks and functions optimally so that a comprehensive handling can be achieved, Adisasmito remarked.
“At this moment, the percentage of posts built in several province across Indonesia is deemed low. This is important to remember that the effectiveness on Micro PPKM enforcement strongly depends on post building as coordinating platforms at the village level,” he said.
Many villages that have not built a post could potentially encounter obstacles in coordinating COVID-19 handling at the neighborhood level, so the objectives of Micro PPKM will not be achieved, Adisasmito said.
Hence, the task force has urged governors, particularly of the six most affected provinces, to direct the district heads and mayors in their regions to optimize the Micro PPKM, he added.
“If the posts have been built, the next step is to ensure all their tasks and functions are well-implemented by each related element. Remember, COVID-19 is a race against time and the guarantee is life, so if all regional administrations are able to take precautionary measures as early as possible, it will save many lives,” he remarked.
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