Jakarta (ANTARA) - An epidemiologist from Gadjah Mada University, Riris Andono Ahmad, has called on all elements of society at large in Indonesia to remain consistent with the mask-wearing protocol to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 infections.

"The transmission of COVID-19 in the country is currently under control. If it can be maintained and supported by the public consistency in wearing masks, the risk of the third wave (of COVID-19 infections) can be lowered," Ahmad said here Sunday.

The epidemiologist said that the risk of a new wave always rises whenever people's mobility increases.

"The seasonal mobility that may increase during the year-end holiday is one of the factors that can increase the risks for COVID-19 cases," he said.

Therefore, it was necessary to mitigate the risks of increasing COVID-19 transmission with a consistent prevention strategy that includes the 3M protocols (mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing), 3T (testing, tracing, treatment), and vaccination, he said.

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He conveyed that the keys for the government to maintain the current condition of COVID-19 are improving public awareness of the risks of COVID-19, improving health protocol compliance, and increasing COVID-19 vaccinations in the country.

The government should also continue to remind citizens of the importance of staying healthy, and working together to halt COVID-19 transmission, he added.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020. According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as of October 31, 2021, at least 4,244,358 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, while 4,088,635 people have recovered, and 143,405 people have succumbed to the deadly coronavirus.

As one of the efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Government launched a nationwide vaccination program on January 13, 2021.

According to the Health Ministry's data, as of October 31, 2021, nearly 119,662,248 citizens have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 73,698,983 have fully been vaccinated.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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