New clusters feared after schools throughout Indonesia reopen amid pandemic: reports

Photo: Illustration
Photo: Illustration

New potential COVID-19 clusters have reportedly been identified following the central government’s decision to allow schools located in relatively low-risk areas to reopen.

This morning, Lapor COVID-19 (Report COVID-19), a civil society coalition that crowdsources coronavirus information from throughout the country, identified schools from seven regions that have recorded at least one confirmed case since in-person schooling resumed this month.

All of the schools are located in green and yellow zones — designating relatively low COVID-19 transmission risk. At this time, green and yellow zones make up slightly more than half of Indonesia, where some 19 million students reside.

Remote schooling is still mandatory in COVID-19 red zones — designating high risk of transmission — including in Jakarta.

Among the highest number infections were recorded in an Islamic boarding school in Pati, Central Java, where 26 students had tested positive, as well as 14 students and eight teachers in six different schools in West Kalimantan province.

 

The tweet by Lapor COVID-19 sharing the reports lambasted the Education Ministry for reopening schools too soon and called on Minister Nadiem Makarim to reverse any policies allowing in-person schooling for the time being.

It must be noted, however, that regional administrations in green or yellow zones, not the Education Ministry, have the final say in reopening schools. 

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