“We call on the public to be more vigilant, more than usual, in the days ahead,” said PMI secretary-general Sudirman Said at a press conference on PMI's handling of COVID-19, in Jakarta on Monday.
He said based on the monitoring of PMI volunteers spread across Indonesia, a significant spike in COVID-19 cases has been seen in 10 Indonesian provinces, namely Riau, where cases have increased by up to 78 percent, East Kalimantan 56 percent, West Java 51 percent, DKI Jakarta 48 percent, Bali 44 percent, Central Java 38 percent, North Sumatra 35 percent, East Java 26 percent, South Sulawesi 22 percent, and South Kalimantan 21 percent.
In the 10 provinces, there has been a bigger spike in COVID-19 cases in urban areas, where the population distribution tends to be focused at one point, compared to districts, where the population is more spread out, Sudirman pointed out.
He cited the example of the increase in cases in Pekanbaru, Riau, where the number of confirmed positive cases is three times that of other districts. Meanwhile, in Surabaya, East Java, the number of positive cases has reached 14,047, which is two-three times that of other districts/cities in the province, he noted.
Based on this data, Sudirman said, the most significant increases in cases have occurred in urban areas which have more human interactions than districts.
Therefore, Sudirman urged the public to be more aware of the spread of cases and reduce interactions with other people outside the home. "The lesser the interaction, the smaller the risk of transmission of the coronavirus," he remarked.
Sudirman said the appeal is a risk communication effort as part of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
PMI has carried out a large-scale operation to handle COVID-19 in 10 provinces, including mass disinfection, distribution of aid, and conduct of campaigns for promoting healthy living habits to increase immunity, including carrying out independent disinfection by the community, he said.
"Within the limits of our existing capabilities and mandates, we will continue to do our best to carry out massive operations in DKI Jakarta, East Java, Central Java, West Java, South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, North Sumatra, Bali, East Kalimantan, and Riau," he added.
As of September 28, 2020, PMI has disinfected 101,039 locations. The disinfection was carried out by gunner trucks and non-gunners. PMI has also distributed 973,115 Healthy and Clean Life Behavior packages (PHBS) to communities, he said.
To support the hand-washing campaign, PMI has also installed more than 676 hand-washing facilities in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas, he added.
PMI is encouraging healthy and clean living habits in an effort to prevent COVID-19.
Approximately 6 million people are estimated to have received the health promotion through community volunteers, according to PMI.
PMI will also continue to provide health and social services in the midst of the pandemic. It is estimated that more than 1.6 million people have benefited from this health service, Sudirman said.
In addition, PMI volunteers are also providing psychosocial support and family care services for COVID-19 patients in a number of areas. The service has been carried out in 170 districts / cities in 28 provinces.
Sudirman said that the beneficiaries of the assistance services total 31,411.
"Apart from 3M, we are urging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle by increasing their immunity independently by taking vitamins, eating nutritious food, exercising, and staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19," he added. (INE)
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