Omicron Spread Exceeds Delta; Govt Advises against International Travel

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan reminds people to not excessively celebrate Christmas and New Year 2022 on Saturday, December 25, 2021. / Instagram

    Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan reminds people to not excessively celebrate Christmas and New Year 2022 on Saturday, December 25, 2021. / Instagram

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in a virtual press conference on Monday asserted that the spread of the Omicron variant had reached 150 countries, which surpassed that of the Delta variant that once spiked in July last year. 

    Because of this reason, he called on people to avoid traveling overseas. “Once again, we plead with you to not travel abroad, unless it is truly an urgent matter,” said Luhut Pandjaitan on Monday, January 10.

    He then insisted that the majority of Omicron spread in Indonesia originated from imported cases of international travelers. As of January 9th, Jakarta logged 393 COVID-19 cases, 300 of them were transmitted by international travelers, the government said. 

    Luhut’s announcement came with a sense of urgency as the new variant had spread in the United States, Australia, and India with spikes in cases causing hospital occupancy to rocket. 

    Luhut added the spread of Omicron in South Africa, where the variant was first detected, tended to be dropping back in November of 2021. According to him, the spread of Omicron on the islands of Java and Bali are relatively under control. 

    “There was only one death in January that took place in Jakarta,” he said. “Confirmed cases in other provinces were also maintained even though there are slight increases in Bali, Banten, and Yogyakarta.”

    Read: Foreigners Lament Poor Services of Jakarta Quarantine Hotel

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA