JAKARTA (ANTARA) – The Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture stressed that the emergence of the new variant of COVID-19, XBB.1.16 or Arcturus, serves as a reminder that health protocols have yet to be implemented.
“The Ministry appeals to the community to further strengthen compliance with health protocols to face the potential entry of this new COVID-19 variant (to Indonesia),” noted Ministry Deputy Deputy MP for Health Services Improvement Nia Reviani , here on Friday.
She explained that implementing health protocols includes wearing masks and washing hands with soap and running water or using hand sanitizer.
In addition, those who are ill or showing COVID-19 symptoms are urged to undergo an immediate screening at the nearest health facility and are advised to limit mobility outside the home.
She noted that with the community taking an active role in implementing health protocols, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 can be prevented.
“By implementing health protocols, individuals can protect themselves, their families and the community,” she noted.
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Reviani explained that her ministry continues to promote the dissemination of information and education about the importance of implementing health protocols to protect against COVID-19 and other diseases such as acute respiratory infections and tuberculosis.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health continues to increase vigilance at all entry gates across the country to anticipate the arrival of the Arcturus variant.
Director-General for Disease Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, stated that the Arcturus variant was first found in India in two samples in January 2023, 59 samples in February 2023 and 15 samples in March 2023.
Several symptoms of the Arcturus variant include fever and cold, cough, stuffy and runny nose, headache, muscle aches and sore throat.
The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. As of March 31, 2023, the country has recorded 6,746,474 COVID-19 cases, 6,580,228 recoveries, and 161,020 deaths, according to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force.
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