Until now, the death rate can still be restrained despite the spike in cases
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan urged to accelerate booster vaccination in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) agglomeration areas as a precautionary measure against the wave of the Omicron variant.

At the Java-Bali PPKM Evaluation Coordination Meeting with all Java-Bali governors and the regional governments of the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum (Forkimpimda) on Thursday, it was stated that most COVID-19 cases occurred in Jabodetabek despite the already quite high rate of vaccination, with doses 1 and 2 having been administered in the area.

Hence, Pandjaitan, concurrently coordinator for the implementation of Java-Bali Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM), in a written statement here on Friday, pressed for expediting booster vaccinations in the Jabodetabek areas.

"Today, we really have to work hard to overcome the spike in cases in Jabodetabek. Hence, I urge the provincial governments of Jakarta, Banten, and West Java to immediately accelerate booster vaccinations," he remarked.

Since the Jabodetabek areas are a hub for mobility, the spread of cases to other provinces can occur more quickly. Despite no significant spike in other provinces, the minister reminded other provinces to take preventive measures.

"Until now, the death rate can still be restrained despite the spike in cases," the minister stated.

Related news: Gov't asks Indonesians to avoid traveling abroad amid Omicron threat

However, based on previous cases in other countries, the hospitalization and death rates may increase, as cases rise many folds.

"Efforts to flatten the curve or slow down the increase in positive cases must be made to reduce the burden on the health system. The solution is to enforce health protocols and accelerate vaccination in each region," the minister remarked.

The Deputy Chair of the Committee for Handling COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPC PEN) also called on the army commander and Assistant Police for Operations (Asops Kapolri) to re-prepare a centralized isolation place in each area.

Related news: Bandung to conduct random testing at schools against Omicron

He also reminded all regional heads comprising regents, mayors, regional military commanders, regional police chiefs, and all levels below to be transparent regarding data on COVID-19 cases, so that further steps can be taken immediately.

On the same occasion, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin remarked that currently, most cases were reported in Jakarta and expected to spread to the other surrounding areas.

"Today, we have to increase testing and tracing again to gain a clear picture of the spread that is occurring around us and continue to increase vaccinations," he expounded.

Related news: Travelers from Saudi Arabia constitute bulk of Indonesia's 882 cases

The governors of Jakarta, Banten, Central Java, and Bali, as well as the deputy governor of Yogyakarta and the regional secretaries of West and East Java also highlighted the current conditions in their respective regions and their efforts to deal with the spike in cases caused by the transmission of the Omicron variant.

All regional heads are ready to provide treatment and prepare anticipatory steps against the spread of the variant.

In the meantime, Dr Erlina from the Indonesian Lung Doctors Association affirmed that this Omicron variant tends to show symptoms, such as coughing, as compared to shortness of breath, so the entire community should be more heedful of the symptoms they may experience.

"We have also taught health workers about telemedicine related to self-isolation procedures and the use of drugs, so that when cases rise again, all health workers are ready," she stated.

Related news: G20's Finance Track moved to Jakarta over Omicron concerns

Related news: Wisma Atlet Hospital logs 517 Omicron patients

Translator: Katriana
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2022