Indonesia increases testing to anticipate third COVID-19 wave

Indonesia increases testing to anticipate third COVID-19 wave

Head of the behavior change division of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Sonny Harry B. Harmadi. (ANTARA/ Anita Permata Dewi)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government has continued to increase testing to anticipate any potential third wave of COVID-19 in the country, the COVID-19 Handling Task Force has said.

"To anticipate the third wave (of COVID-19), testing is being increased," Head of the task force's Behavior Change Division Sonny Harry B. Harmadi said at an online seminar, accessed from here on Tuesday.

The government has also continued to enforce public activity restrictions (PPKM) in various regions even though several community activities have been allowed, he said.

"PPKM continues to be implemented, PPKM levels 3, 2, and 1," he said.

Information dissemination to push public compliance with health protocols has also continued, he added.

According to Harmadi, the government is still accelerating the national vaccination program even though the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is falling.

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Meanwhile, to prevent new variants of COVID-19 from entering the country, the government has also tightened entry access from abroad, he said.

Likewise, strict protocols are also being implemented for Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) arriving in the country, he added. Migrant workers are required to undergo a PCR test after arriving in Indonesia, he informed.

"The Ministry of Health has also sent rapid molecular test (tools) so that we do not have to wait long (for results). Within an hour, we can separate people who test positive (for COVID-19) and those who are negative," he said.

The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as of September 29, 2021, at least 4,211,460 people have tested positive for COVID-19, while 4,031,099 people have recovered, and 141,709 people have succumbed to the deadly virus.

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