Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan implored the public to go on vacations to domestic tourist attractions, given all the national Omicron cases had come from abroad.

"The government once again reminds the public to not travel overseas if it is not for something really urgent. If you just want to go on vacation, I repeat, if you just want to go on vacation, go to various domestic tourist attractions in Indonesia," the minister stated during a weekly press conference as seen here on Monday.

Apart from the decision being a step to avoid further entry of Omicron cases, Pandjaitan remarked that domestic tourist attractions were no less beautiful than their foreign counterparts.

"When you go on a domestic vacation, it will also help accelerate recovery of the national economy," he pointed out.

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The minister revealed that so far, the number of confirmed cases of Omicron in Indonesia had reached 46, with most of them constituting travelers, who had made overseas trips to various countries. The rest of them were officers at the Athlete's Village Hospital that had contracted the infection from foreign travelers.

"I call to your attention, (please) do not go on vacation overseas yet, except for jobs that force us to go," he appealed.

Pandjaitan pointed out that the spread of Omicron was getting more rampant, and it had been detected in 115 countries across the world, including in Indonesia, with a total of over 184 thousand cases.

Although the variant's spread is rapid, data from other countries showed that the Omicron variant had caused less deaths than the Delta variant.

A study conducted in the UK also showed that the Omicron variant imposed a significantly lower risk of hospitalization than its Delta counterpart. Currently, the number of cases in South Africa had also declined.

"However, we still have to be careful, as data in other countries shows cases (among the) children have increased because of Omicron. Thus, I urge parents living in regions that have started COVID-19 vaccinations for children to immediately bring their children to be vaccinated," he emphasized.
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Translator: Ade Irma J, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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