Tanjungpinang – Indonesia is currently transitioning from the COVID-19 pandemic to the endemic phase, according to Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
“The move to endemic is being done gradually, not all at once,” he stated on Wednesday in Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands.
To do this, the government is easing previously strict health regulations. He also stated that COVID-19 testing is no longer required, and that people can decide whether or not to wear masks outside.
This method, he claims, will unintentionally inspire people to follow health practises on their own.
“One of the characteristics of all endemic infectious diseases is that everyone already knows what it is, observes health rules, and knows how to treat it if they have been exposed,” he stated.
Despite the loosening of the mask regulation outside, Sadikin recommends people to adjust to their surroundings: if they are in a crowded environment or encounter friends who have symptoms such as coughing, fever, or sneezing, they must wear masks to avoid COVID-19 transmission.
“If you feel safe and comfortable, you may remove the mask,” he continued.
President Joko Widodo reaffirmed his message, noting that Indonesians have shown remarkable discipline in wearing masks, helping to control the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases are on the decline in the country, with almost no patients in hospitals and a low death rate.
“President Jokowi (Widodo) returned from a trip to the United States lately. COVID-19’s administration in Indonesia has been praised after it was credited with significantly reducing cases “The minister added.