Strict use of filter masks outdoors reinstated

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Health protocol implementation must become strict again, especially outdoor. (IO/Aslam Iqbal)

Jakarta, IO – The recent high number of Covid-19 positive infection cases means that everyone must be back on alert, for heightened risk of infection. Health protocol implementation must become strict again, especially in terms of wearing filter masks whenever we perform activities outside the home, whether indoors or outdoors. As Covid-19 infections continue to fluctuate, health regulations need to be adjusted to existing conditions, so that control of the disease can be maintained. 

“In the current condition, we of the Indonesian Medical Association (Ikatan Dokter Indonesia – “IDI”) recommend the reimposition of the obligation to wear filter masks, both indoors and outdoors. We strongly suggest that the Government retract its statement allowing the use of filter masks in open spaces to avoid potential infections,” said Dr. dr. Erlina Burhan, Sp.P(K), Ph.D., member of IDI Central Management’s Infectious Disease Mitigation Studies Division, in a press conference in Jakarta, Tuesday (21/06/2022). 

As of 20 June 2022, there were 1,180 new positive confirmations of Covid-19 a day, nearly double the previous record of 591 new cases a day on 13 June 2022. The cause of the increase in the recent Covid-19 infection is two-pronged: first, people do not maintain health protocol as strictly, and second, the extremely fast infection rate of sub-variants of the disease: Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have appeared. These sub-variants also have the ability to bypass the body’s immunity gates: you can still catch it even if you are already vaccinated. “Therefore, we need to anticipate, to prevent further increase of cases,” Dr. Erlina said.