In a bid to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the Government has urged all Indonesian citizens not to travel abroad.
“The Government strongly urges Indonesian citizens with no essential urgent needs not to travel abroad,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L. P. Marsudi said in a press statement after attending the Limited Cabinet Meeting on Evaluation of Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM), Monday (12/13).
According to the Minister, the Omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in more than 70 countries, both confirmed and suspect cases, including countries around Indonesia.
Retno pointed out that the UK is reported to have raised its COVID-19 alert level from Level 3 to Level 4, following the spike in cases of the Omicron variant to 1,239 cases on December 12.
“It means a double number [of cases] compared that in December 11,” she added.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the Minister continued, has also informed countries that experts are still working on the new variant to determine the speed of transmission, the impact on hospitalization and severity, as well as on the effectiveness of vaccines.
Nevertheless, despite the limited evidence on the variant, Retno urged the people to remain careful and vigilant.
“We also need to accelerate vaccination drive, observe health protocols, and limit movement of the people. We must love and protect our health and the health of Indonesia.” she remarked. (RF/AIT/ST) (GWH/EP)