Jokowi Warns of COVID-19 Fourth Wave as Omicron Looms

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Laila Afifa

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  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks to media during a meeting and visit alongside other ambassadors to a plant nursery for forestry in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Yuddy Cahya Budiman

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks to media during a meeting and visit alongside other ambassadors to a plant nursery for forestry in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia, November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Yuddy Cahya Budiman

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaPresident Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reminded all to be on alert for the threat of the fourth wave of COVID-19 as a new coronavirus variant  B.1.1.529 or Omicron is spreading in a number of countries.

    “Be careful with the current spread of Omicron variant, the threat of the fourth wave. This morning I’ve been informed that it has entered Singapore,” said the President while briefing the Head of Regional Units (Kasatwil) 2021 in Bali, Friday, December 3.

    He also reminded his staffers to be vigilant, especially those on duty at the border. “Because people who carry [the virus] are not only citizens from other countries, but also our own citizens, especially workers who come from abroad when they return home,” he added.

    According to the President, the Omicron variant has entered 29 countries and is suspected to be more contagious than the Delta variant.

    “Remember, the Delta Variant spreads in Indonesia in just 2-3 weeks. Many people got infected quickly. Now, this [variant spreads] faster, it is estimated to be five times faster [than the Delta variant] and there is a high probability of immune escape,” the head of state said, talking of a condition when the virus escape from existing immunity given by vaccines and previous infections that causes reinfection.

    Jokowi also asked the National Police Chief, the Indonesian Military or TNI Commander, and his staff to complete the COVID-19 vaccination immediately.

    Read: Soekarno-Hatta Airport Beefs Up Security to Prevent Entry of Omicron

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