A couple of months back, Singaporeans were largely told that we need not wear masks unless we were sick.
Today, the advice is a little different. PM Lee has backtracked and said that Singaporeans can collect free reusable masks.
At the same time, they no longer discourage the use of masks when you aren’t displaying any symptoms.
It looks like Indonesia is doing the same but in a more extreme manner:
People in Indonesia Now Forced to Wear Cloth Masks As Long As They’re in Public
Indonesian health authorities are taking the no-nonsense approach and making it mandatory to wear face masks when going outside.
This is part of strict new measures in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
And it’s no wonder as to date, Indonesia has a total of 2,300 confirmed cases and almost 200 deaths.
The Health Ministry’s director-general for disease control and prevention Dr Achmad Yurianto announced that everyone will have to wear masks in public starting 5 April, Sunday.
This was reportedly in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He also emphasised that the public should wear cloth masks and save the surgical masks and N95 masks for health workers.
“Surgical masks and N95 masks are only for medical workers. Please use cloth masks. This is important because we don’t know if many people without symptoms are out there,” he said at a daily press conference.
181 New Cases On Sunday In Indonesia
Indonesia has reported 181 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, which brings the total number of infections in the country to 2,273.
There have been another seven deaths over the course of 24 hours.
This made the total number of deaths in Indonesia to 198, which is the highest in South-east Asia. However, the good news is that 14 more patients have recovered, thus bringing the number to 164.
This also could mean that there are people will no symptoms running around and accidentally infecting others.
“With this data, we believe that the transmission is still ongoing out there. There are still asymptomatic cases among us. Some of us still don’t realise that we are vulnerable to infections,” Dr Yurianto.
But the scariest part of it all is that Indonesian authorities have estimated that there are between 600,000 to 700,000 people in Indonesia who are at risk of being infected by the highly contagious coronavirus.
Indonesia Also Has Large-Scale Social Distancing Measures
According to The Straits Times, the government has also launched large-scale social distancing measures which include the closure of schools and workplaces, the restriction of religious, social and cultural activities, activities in public places or facilities and transport curbs.
Of course, essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations will remain open.
Health Ministry secretary-general Oscar Primadi has hopes that the large-scale distancing measures will break the chain of infection.
“The indicator of success of the large-scale social distancing measures is the decline in the number of cases and absence of transmissions to new areas or regions,” he said.
Indeed many countries, including Singapore are clamping down on the virus by introducing strict measures.
Let’s just hope that with time, they will prove to be effective and successful in keeping the coronavirus at bay.
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