Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Military (TNI) commander, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, on Saturday urged Indonesians to form a habit of wearing masks even as daily COVID-19 infections crossed the 50-thousand mark.

"Let us make mask wearing and self-isolation become a part of our culture in battling our invisible enemy, COVID-19," he said in a press statement that ANTARA received in Jakarta on Saturday.

He also highlighted the importance of wearing face masks in the fight against the coronavirus during a visit to a command post monitoring the enforcement of a partial lockdown in Sidoarjo district, East Java, this week.

During his visit, Tjahjanto inspected a warehouse storing medicines in the Gedangan neighborhood and staple food packages meant to be distributed to residents affected severely by the impact of COVID-19.

Free packages of medicines have been distributed to self-isolating COVID-19, patients based on data provided by heads of local public health centers, according to the press statement.

Officially referred to as the "PPKM Darurat" or emergency public activity restrictions, the partial COVID-19 lockdown has been enforced on the islands of Java and Bali from July 3 to July 20, 2021.

Amid the growing threat posed by the more contagious Delta variant of the virus, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, has hinted the government plans to extend the restrictions till the end of July, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic initially hit the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 and subsequently spread across the globe, including to nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government announced the nation's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

Since then, the central and regional governments have made incessant efforts to flatten the nation's coronavirus curve by applying healthcare protocols.

As part of efforts to win the fight against COVID-19, the Indonesian government has been conducting a nationwide vaccination program to contain infections since January 13, 2021.

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Translator: M.Zulfikar, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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