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Fri, 06/17/2022 - 11:49
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Indonesia seeks stricter implementation of health protocols in schools

Jakarta, June 17 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry has pushed for strengthening the implementation of health protocols during face-to-face or offline learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19 following findings of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron in Indonesia. “The ministry encourages face-to-face learning to be implemented with strict health protocols,” spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Mohammad Syahril noted in a written statement here on Thursday. Syahril remarked that as of Tuesday (June 14), some 20 cases of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were confirmed in Indonesia. Out of the 20 patients, three were children in the age bracket of five to 12 years. The spokesperson added that the symptoms experienced by those three children were relatively mild. To this end, the ministry has appealed to relevant parties to implement a stricter mask-wearing policy during face-to-face learning to prevent virus transmission. “Children must be trained and tasked to continue to implement health protocols; to wear masks within and outside the class,” he remarked. In addition, children must be reminded to keep their masks on in crowded places. The spokesperson assessed that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron have raised an alarm that the implementation of health protocols still needs to be strengthened. Earlier, the Ministry of Health had reported that all 20 COVID-19 patients, confirmed positive for having contracted the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants in Indonesia, had recovered as of Thursday, June 16, 2022. Of the 20 patients, three were foreigners, while the rest were Indonesians comprising one from Banten, four from Jakarta, and the other 12 from West Java. Some of the patients have not received the booster vaccine dose. The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of June 17, the nation had recorded 6,064,424 COVID-19 cases, 5,901,083 recoveries, and 156,673 deaths.