Especially among the elderly, it is hoped that an increase in cases can be prevented
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Mohammad Syahril has asked Indonesians to return to wearing masks as a form of vigilance amid an increase in COVID-19 cases triggered by the new variant Arcturus or XBB.1.16.

"The public should be actively wearing masks again, especially for people who are sick with influenza, people who have close contact with people who are sick, and when we are in crowds. Don't forget to take care of your health to prevent cases from rising again," he said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

He also asked people to follow a healthy lifestyle and participate in the COVID-19 vaccination program to prevent a spike in cases.

"Especially among the elderly, it is hoped that an increase in cases can be prevented," he said.

The highly contagious Arcturus sub-variant has triggered a rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks in Indonesia, he noted.

The symptoms caused by the variant include red eyes or eye boogers in children, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

"We are obliged to protect the elderly as a group that is vulnerable to infection and hospitalization," he said.

The Arcturus sub-variant has already been detected in India. Judging from the COVID-19 case trajectory, Indonesia has always experienced the same pattern as India, he added.

Currently, India is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, with the number of daily cases rising by up to 20 percent to reach more than 12,500.

“History also shows that in Indonesia, cases of COVID-19 increase not because of travel and holidays, but because of a new variant. For this reason, people should not be careless; let's wear masks again and live a healthy life," he said.

According to the daily report of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of Wednesday, the number of active cases in Indonesia increased by 194, with the number of confirmed infections increasing by 1,399.

A total of 1,191 other patients were declared recovered, while the number of dead increased by 14.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Sri Haryati
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