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Workplace hazard: Indonesia traces majority of new coronavirus infections to offices

Coconuts Jakarta - July 21, 2020

The majority of new coronavirus patients in the past week were infected in offices, Indonesia's COVID-19 task force said, as the government continues to urge health precaution compliance at workplaces.

COVID-19 task force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said workplace infections were likely the result of an increasing number of offices requiring employees to come in instead of working from home.

"In the past week, we saw an increase in positive cases, the majority of which we believe came from office activities based on our contact tracing," Achmad said during the task force's daily briefing yesterday.

Though Achmad did not disclose the exact number of said workplace infections, in the past week (between July 13-20) Indonesia confirmed 12,515 COVID-19 cases, making up 14 percent of the 88,214 nationwide total.

The spokesman said that offices must ensure adequate air circulation and that meetings be kept to a minimum.

Heavy restrictions on workplace activity were imposed when regions throughout Indonesia implemented the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol. However, many regions have moved on from the protocol in the past month.

Jakarta, which is transitioning away from PSBB and loosening restrictions, is now allowing limited workplace activity, such as capping the number of employees at half of an office's capacity.

Fines were previously given to offices that violate the protocol, but public policy experts have argued that adjusting working hours, or, better yet, allowing employees to work from home, are far more effective means of preventing outbreaks in the workplace.

Source: https://coconuts.co/jakarta/news/workplace-hazard-indonesia-traces-majority-of-new-coronavirus-infections-to-offices