Jakarta (ANTARA) - Euphoria over pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia must not be used as an excuse to relax the implementation of the health protocols, government spokesperson for COVID-19, Reisa Broto Asmoro, has said.

"Always maintain the health protocols during euphoria while welcoming families returning from Hajj," she advised in the ‘Doctor Reisa's Health Broadcast,’ which was followed online from Jakarta on Monday.

The health protocols—wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining a safe distance—must be observed while welcoming Hajj pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, she added.

Since Hajj pilgrims have just returned from a long series of Hajj activities after interacting with a lot of people in Saudi Arabia, the health protocols must be maintained amid the current COVID-19 situation in Indonesia.

"In the midst of this surge in COVID-19 cases, health protocols are indeed the key to handling it. Do not let yourself get infected with COVID-19 in Indonesia after returning from Saudi Arabia," Asmoro stressed.

She also advised pilgrims to self-quarantine for at least seven days to reduce the potential for COVID-19 transmission to other family members. She reminded the pilgrims to fill out the alert card for 21 days after returning from the Holy Land.

As pilgrims return, families have been advised to avoid kissing each other on the cheek, hugging, or kissing hands. When eating together, they have been advised to use separate utensils.

If pilgrims experience symptoms such as cough, cold, and fever, they must immediately carry out a health check, including staying at home and avoiding activities outside the home, Asmoro said.

"We must be grateful that this year's Hajj could take place in the midst of a pandemic. Thank God, Indonesia was also able to dispatch pilgrims by adapting to new habits," she noted.

Asmoro emphasized that family members who have not received a booster shot must promptly take it.

"Our health is very important. Also, remember to implement the health protocols," she added.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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