Jakarta (ANTARA) - Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, has asked schools to halt face-to-face learning if a new COVID-19 case is detected in the school environment.

"If there is a new positive (COVID-19) case, immediately close the school and do disinfection, tracking, and checking of close contacts," he said in a press conference, accessed online from here on Thursday.

According to data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek), as of September 23, 2021, only 2.77 percent out of 47,033 schools have reported COVID-19 clusters during face-to-face learning, he noted.

"I ask education units to carry out face-to-face learning carefully; always prioritize health and protect students from COVID-19 transmission," Adisasmito said.

Several COVID-19 cases that were detected among students in several regions should be taken as lessons by other regions so that similar cases do not happen again and face-to-face learning can be carried out safely, he added.

"Ensure that students and teaching staff are disciplined in following health protocols," he stressed.

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No matter how low the number of cases is, virus transmission can escalate if not handled promptly through adequate tracing and treatment, he reiterated.

He also said that people can monitor the development of COVID-19 cases in school environments region-wise through the website school.data.kemdikbud.go.id/kesiapansiswa.

The spokesperson then lauded regional governments, teaching staff, students, and parents for supporting the implementation of face-to-face learning and cooperating in following the guidelines due to which there has been no significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Indonesian government recently gave permission to schools in several regions to conduct face-to-face learning with limited students, as regulated by the Ministerial Joint Decree on guidance on the implementation of school learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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