Expert Fears COVID-19 Cases Spike After Anti-omnibus Law Protests

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Twelve vocational school students who plan to join the protest rally against the job creation omnibus law undergo swab tests at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. TEMPO/M Julnis Firmansyah

    Twelve vocational school students who plan to join the protest rally against the job creation omnibus law undergo swab tests at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. TEMPO/M Julnis Firmansyah

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - University of Indonesia epidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono on Friday said the widespread protests of anti-omnibus law on job creation across major cities would potentially cause a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the next three to seven days. 

    “It can even potentially become a ‘protest cluster’ because the protesters were not abiding by health protocols,” said Tri Yunis on Friday, October 9. 

    Waves of mass-protests broke out in major cities in response to the passing of the omnibus bill on job creation by lawmakers of the House of Representatives (DPR) on Monday.  

    The epidemiologist mainly focused on COVID-19 asymptomatic cases that could crucially bump up the country’s number of cases. 

    “This can be dangerous. Just two [asymptomatic] people in the crowd can help spread the virus, or worse if there were dozens of positive cases. The infections can be boundless,” said Tri Yunis, who also predicted Jakarta may see 1,500-2,000 daily cases in the coming weeks. 

    However, he said if Jakarta’s COVID-19 average daily cases remained within 900-1,000 levels, this meant the protesters did not help worsen the viral spread. 

    Read: Protests Against Omnibus Law Potentially Raise COVID-19 Cases

    IMAM HAMDI