Jakarta (ANTARA) - New Year eve celebrations have been banned across Indonesia to prevent crowding and curb potential transmission of the novel coronavirus disease, the national police disclosed on Thursday.
"This year, the New Year's eve celebrations have been banned. All places often used for organizing year-ender events have, from the beginning, been secured by authorized personnel," National Police spokesperson, Brig.Gen.Rusdi Hartono, said.
A joint team of police and military personnel dispatched to conduct security and surveillance operations are focusing on houses of worship and tourist sites frequented by revelers on New Year's eve, Hartono told journalists here.
Among the prioritized places are 45,489 churches, 1,833 places often visited by revelers, and 3,483 tourist sites across the archipelago, he added
The police ban on all New Year eve celebrations has been mandated by the police chief's instruction (No. Mak/4/XII/2020) dated December 23, 2020, in compliance with the government's health protocols for the 2020 Christmas and 2021 New Year holidays.
According to Hartono, the ban has been imposed in view of the "the safety of the people be the supreme law” principle, and the fact that Indonesia's COVID-19 infection rate has remained high.
The enforcement of social restrictions has also continued to deal with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases following several long holidays, he said, adding that people are also being prohibited from organizing road convoys, motorcades, and firework displays.
"Those violating the police chief's instruction, police officers will take necessary actions against them," Hartono said.
Thirty-four provinces in Indonesia have been striving to contain coronavirus infections, which initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread worldwide, including to nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The first COVID-19 infections in Indonesia were reported on March 2 this year.
As of December 28, 2020, Indonesia had recorded a total of 719,219 COVID-19 cases, 589,978 recoveries, and 21,452 fatalities, while on December 30, 2020, Jakarta reportedly contributed the highest number of fresh cases at 2,053.
To help win the fight against the pandemic, which has posed a grave threat to public health and economy, the Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Over the past few months, it has endeavored to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
The government is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag. (INE)
Source: Antara News