We hope sick people can wear masks properly
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry reminded the public to increase discipline in implementing clean and healthy living behavior (PHBS) to reduce the risk of contracting the COVID-19 variant, Arcturus, during the Eid al-Fitr homecoming.

"Please maintain your health during homecoming by implementing PHBS because there is a risk of COVID-19 transmission," the ministry's spokesperson, Mohammad Syahril, noted in a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the pandemic still exists, with the possibility of increased cases due to new subvariants.

Hence, Syahril appealed to the public to always wear masks correctly.

"Masks are recommended for people who feel sick, such as those experiencing cough or runny nose. We hope sick people can wear masks properly," he remarked.

Apart from the implementation of PHBS and wearing masks, he urged people to complete their vaccination by taking the third COVID-19 vaccine dose.

"Vaccines are important not only for travelers but also for people that they visit. Currently, the percentage of people that had received the third dose of vaccination is still at 42 percent, or below 70 percent. Hence, people are expected to immediately visit vaccination booths at the nearest health facility or health posts at stations, airports, or terminals," he remarked.

Syahril also said that several vaccine stocks were running low, as the need had increased. Hence, the government has implemented a policy to substitute with domestic products.

"Later, there will be a circular from the Ministry of Health regarding this matter," he stated.

As of Monday, the number of cases of the COVID-19 Arcturus variant had increased to seven, including two people from Surabaya and three from Jakarta, while two patients reportedly exposed to Arcturus for the first time have been declared cured, he explained.

"These five new patients have mild symptoms. People do not need to panic. It is best to increase discipline in health protocols and complete their vaccination," he remarked.

Despite an increase in cases, he confirmed that no deaths had been reported. Currently, Indonesia is still in a stable condition with regard to COVID-19, he remarked.

"The Arcturus variant is still under monitoring and not yet a matter of concern. The number of patients being treated is still not more than five per 100 thousand population, and the addition of cases is still at one per 100 thousand population, so this is still stable," he remarked.

He also reported that the Health Ministry had just received a grant of the antiviral drug Paxlovid from Australia, with a total of 24,096 doses, to reduce the severity of symptoms experienced by patients exposed to COVID-19.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti P, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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