Expert Predicts 1,500 Daily Cases of Covid-19 after Omnibus Law Protests

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  • Demonstrators stand amidst tear gas during a protest against the government's labor reforms bill in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 13, 2020. Indonesian police fired tear gas on Tuesday in an effort to disperse demonstrators in central Jakarta, a Reuters witness said, amid a second week of protests over a controversial new labour law. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    Demonstrators stand amidst tear gas during a protest against the government's labor reforms bill in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 13, 2020. Indonesian police fired tear gas on Tuesday in an effort to disperse demonstrators in central Jakarta, a Reuters witness said, amid a second week of protests over a controversial new labour law. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The recent wave of protests against the Omnibus Law on Job Creation in Jakarta sparks fear that there would be a significant rise in Covid-19 infections. Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, and epidemiologist from the Universitas Indonesia, reminded the government of a likely high spike in Jakarta as a result of the mass demonstrations.

    "For the next week to come, I predict we will start seeing upticks," said Tri on Wednesday, October 14.

    According to Tri, the current rate of daily cases, which is between 900 and 1,200, will soar to around 1,500. Nevertheless, he predicted the increase would not be categorized as critical, as most of the protesters wear masks.

    "If it is over 1,500 a day, it is considered as a critical increase. But it seems like the rise would fall in the medium category."

    Tri said that using masks can prevent coronavirus transmission by up to 70 percent. "But we still have to anticipate a spike in cases," he said.

    Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan had also expressed his concerns over a likely Covid-19 outbreak among demonstrators and at campuses as an impact of the mass demonstration rejecting the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

    "We will conduct tracing. But I am really worried about the gathering of crowds as it puts everyone at risk," he said in Jakarta last week.

    Read: Anies Baswedan Worried New COVID-19 Cluster to Emerge from Omnibus Law Protest

    Imam Hamdi