"We urge residents to abide by the health protocols as we need to be cautious of the possible COVID-19 third wave that may occur during the Christmas and New Year's Eve; we should be vigilant," the minister said during a weekly press conference on the activities restriction enforcement (PPKM), which was broadcast by the Presidential Secretariat's YouTube channel from Jakarta on Monday.
President Joko Widodo has pointed to continued health protocol violations at marriage receptions, tourist attractions, and other events and locations that draw crowds, noted Pandjaitan, who is also serving as the PPKM coordinator for the Java-Bali region.
The recent decline in COVID-19 infections in Java-Bali regions is in concert with the national trend in cases, which has registered a decline, he said.
Related news: Indonesia increases testing to anticipate third COVID-19 wave
At present, 18 thousand active cases have been registered nationwide, with Java-Bali regions recording around 7 thousand active cases, a huge improvement from the 570 thousand active cases recorded on July 15, 2021, during the peak of the second COVID-19 wave, the coordinating minister informed.
Several provinces recording zero daily COVID-19 deaths is also proof of the improving pandemic situation in Indonesia, he added.
"Jakarta, West Java, Yogyakarta, and Bali recorded zero COVID-19 deaths on October 17, 2021, while other provinces recorded less than five deaths," Pandjaitan informed.
Despite the recent improvements in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Pandjaitan reiterated the importance of continued adherence to the health protocols as the authorities strive to increase national vaccination coverage.
"We need to understand that the current vaccination rate in Java-Bali regions is only at 43 percent, and we are striving to first achieve 70 percent vaccination coverage among the elderly in two months," he added. (
Related news: Indonesia urged to increase airport security to avert third wave: IDI
Related news: Ministry outlines six strategies to anticipate third COVID-19 wave