Jakarta – Banyumas regency in Central Java will temporarily close some tourist attractions in the area to contain the spread of COVID-19, antaranews.com reported.
Banyumas Regent Achmad Husein said on Monday that the local administration would close both government-owned and privately owned tourist attractions gradually, following the surge of COVID-19 cases.
He noted that the local administration would check the implementation of health protocols in each tourist attraction to find out which spaces could attract large crowds.
Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the local administration decided not to close all tourist attractions immediately out of consideration for economic activity in the community.
Banyumas Education and Tourism Agency head Asis Kusumandani said the regency had 109 tourist attractions. However, only 25 of them had implemented the health and safety protocols.
With that in mind, Banyumas Deputy Regent Sadewo Tri Lastiono said the administration would check the implementation of health protocols in each tourist attraction. He added that the tourist attractions managed by the local administration had actually implemented good health and safety protocols.
Banyumas has recently experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases, resulting in the regency being declared a medium-risk orange zone instead of a low-risk green zone as before.
According to covid19.banyumaskab.go.id, the regency has recorded 1,225 positive cases and 39 deaths as of Monday.
The same data shows that 807 patients have recovered, 158 patients are currently hospitalized, 27 patients are in isolation rooms and 221 are self-isolating.
Last month, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo praised the regency's efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission.
Ganjar said that the Banyumas administration was tracking down residents with comorbidity factors, such as diabetes or hypertension, in an effort to prevent COVID-19 transmission to those at higher risk from the disease.
"People [with comorbidities] will be given a bracelet as a sign that they are vulnerable, so that people will avoid close contact," he said.
However, October's long weekend holiday seems to have contributed to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Central Java.
Tribunnews.com reported that one entire family in Sragen regency had died from COVID-19 after traveling to other cities during the long weekend holiday.
Meanwhile, Brebes Regent Idza Priyanti's family members also tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Mount Bromo.
Central Java Health Agency head Yulianto Prabowo said the surge in COVID-19 cases was dominated by family clusters, followed by pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) clusters and office clusters.
"Family clusters account for 32 percent, followed by pesantren clusters with 13.9 percent," he said, explaining that the patients might not have traveled to other cities but that visitors from Jakarta might have contributed to the surge in cases. (jes)