Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry’s vaccination spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi has advised people to use double masks to anticipate the risk of transmission of a number of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

"Why do people need to wear double mask? They need to use double mask because the cloth mask on its left and right still has holes, so it is increasingly possible for transmission to occur," Tarmizi said while speaking at a virtual webinar held by Holopis and monitored in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended using double masks, that is, wearing a medical mask on the inside along with a three-layer cloth mask on the outside, Tarmizi pointed out.

Double masking is believed to cut the risk of transmission of new virus variants that reportedly can spread more quickly, one of which is the Delta variant, or B1617.2, from India, which has now been detected in a number of regions in Indonesia, she said.

"The report from Australia says the transmission speed of this Delta variant is 10 to 15 seconds. Even when people pass by without wearing a mask, it can make that person positive or infected," she added.

Separately, during a Dialogue Webinar on Tuesday, internal medicine specialist Andi Khomeini said the United States has increased the use of double masks for citizens as a form of protection against the new variants that have emerged recently.

"Medical masks on the inside have an indentation on one side to make them fit more on the face. According to the CDC study, the use of double masks also still comes with a 10 percent risk of contracting (the virus),” he said.

Earlier, chief of the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI), Aman Pulungan, had stated that children account for 12.6 percent of COVID-19 transmission cases in several parts of Indonesia.

“The national data shows that children up to the age of 18 years with confirmed COVID-19 constitute 12.6 percent (of the total transmission cases),” the IDAI chief observed in Jakarta on Tuesday.

One of every eight people exposed to COVID-19 is a child, Pulungan noted, adding that children currently also face the risk of succumbing to COVID-19.

Children can fall ill and die of COVID-19 based on the comorbidity they experience, he explained.

“Anybody can develop comorbidities, such as obesity, tuberculosis, and hypertension, be it children under five and the youth,” he cautioned. (INE)

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Translator: Andi F, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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