Borobudur, Prambanan temples closed amid coronavirus scare

Prambanan Temple, the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, is located in Sleman regency of Yogyakarta. Photo by Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media
Prambanan Temple, the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, is located in Sleman regency of Yogyakarta. Photo by Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media

The three biggest temple sites in Java, namely popular tourist sites Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko Palace, will be closed to the public from today until March 29 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The temporary closure was confirmed yesterday by the Edi Setijono, the president director of the temple complexes’ operator, PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko, who had referred to President Joko Widodo’s advice for the nation to begin staying at home ⁠— as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia continue to rise amid the pandemic.

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Edy said his company has conveyed the closure to the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises and formed a coronavirus prevention task force that will be deployed across the temples.

“We will coordinate with various parties, such as the Cultural Heritage Conservation Center (BPCB) and Borobudur Conservation Center to spray disinfectants to all parts of the temple complexes,” Edy said yesterday, as quoted by Tempo.

Other than the preventative measures against COVID-19, fogging operations will also be done to prevent dengue fever.

The Borobudur Temple is situated in Magelang regency, Central Java, while Prambanan Temple and Ratu Boko Palace are in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta. There has reportedly been a significant decline in visitors in the past two months, at around 40.8 percent less than usual.

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo yesterday declared a state of emergency in the region, and has shut down schools in the province for at least the next two weeks. As of yesterday, two more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Central Java, bringing the total number of cases in the province to four, including one patient who has died from the viral disease.

In Yogyakarta, a toddler has tested positive for coronavirus, though Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X has yet to declare a state of emergency for the province.

Indonesia has seen a huge surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week, with 21 new cases confirmed in the latest official update yesterday, bringing the total number of domestic infections to 117. The new cases consist of 19 in Jakarta and two in Central Java, according to a statement issued by the Health Ministry.

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