By Paul Ajayi
The Indonesian government said on Friday it will not allow people to return home during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays this year as the COVID-19 pandemic still drags on.
Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said this policy applies to all Indonesians, including private employees and informal workers.
“With the policy, the COVID-19 vaccination programme can be implemented maximally with our expectations,’’ he said.
Effendy explained that there was a further spread of COVID-19 with increasing deaths due to the disease after a long holiday season in the past, such as the higher bed occupancy rate (BOR) in hospitals following the New Year vacation.
Meanwhile, the death toll of COVID-19 rose sharply from 1,000 to more than 2,000 cases per month during those long holidays, compared to that in other months which recorded between 50 and 900 deaths.
The homecoming prohibition will be effective from May 6 to May 17.
However, the government has also urged people not to leave their areas before and after those dates.
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country with urban migrants returning to their hometowns during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.