At a time when the country’s pandemic situation looks to be improving, Indonesians are cautiously excited about the prospect of considerable tourist expenditure. However, they are worried that an increase in travelers would spread the coronavirus. According to officials this week, travel restrictions will be allowed despite an uptick in infections and deaths seen in July and August. Around 20 million tourists are expected to travel to Java and Bali, two of Indonesia’s most famous tourist destinations.
Virus-Related Travel Risks In Indonesia Are Being Examined
However, despite significant gains since the awful midyear months, the island nation’s immunization rollout still lags behind most other Southeast Asian countries, according to the World Health Organization. Others question whether the official statistics are correct, pointing out that many COVID-19 cases go unrecognized and unreported and that widespread travel may be to blame for the resurgence. There is evidence to support this claim.
DickyBudiman, an epidemiologist and academic consultant to the Indonesian government, said, “There is some advancement in terms of the number of cases and, of course, death.” According to him, “what the government releases does not necessarily represent or reflect the genuine condition in communities.” To combat an endemic disease, Indonesia is treating coronavirus as an endemic rather than a contagious disease. It’s an attempt to find a middle ground between the desire to live with COVID-19 and the need to take precautions in case the virus spreads again widely.
To dissuade people from traveling during the holidays, the administration moved the Christmas Eve holiday this year to a Friday instead of the previously stated Saturday. To avoid overcrowding, President JokoWidodo urged regional officials to supervise better and regulate visitors. To avoid the third wave, he added in a statement, “we are hopeful that we will be able to manage Christmas and New Year’s Day smoothly.” Christmas vacation was canceled on December 24th due to objections from the Muslim majority, emphasizing the challenge of achieving an equilibrium between safety standards and individual freedoms.
More than 143,000 individuals have died as a result of the outbreak in Indonesia, home to 270 million people and around 4.25 million COVID-19 infections. This is despite the fact that neighboring Malaysia suffered far more on a per capita basis. In the intervening years, however, things have changed dramatically, with Indonesia today having one of the region’s lowest disease incidence and mortality rates.
Following government announcements that restrictions will be loosened, commencing in early September, arrangements were put in place to let some international visitors back to visit Bali’s resort island. Despite the fact that the number of visitors has stayed modest and has only come from within the country, no foreign flights have taken place. The virus’ spread has not increased significantly yet.
Because of this, an outbreak might spread swiftly in Indonesia and send an excessive number of people to hospitals, raising concerns about the country’s poor vaccination coverage compared to other nations in the region. Fewer than a quarter of Indonesia’s eligible population has received all four doses of the hepatitis A vaccination, compared to 73% in Malaysia, 80% in Singapore, and even 41% in Thailand, where delays in the early stages plagued vaccine deployment.