As part of the local COVID-19 prevention measures during the long holiday weekend, the administration of Bogor regency in West Java has set up three "pop-up" health posts in the Puncak highlands that offer both the rapid antibody test and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test.
The posts are located at Harakatul Janah mosque, the Megamendung district office and the Telaga Warna resort and restaurant in the popular tourist area.
On Thursday, the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday and the second day of the government’s cuti bersama (collective leave) to mark the public holiday, the three posts randomly tested 918 tourists headed to Puncak. Fifty of the tested tourists produced “reactive” results for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“We have prepared a total of 1,000 rapid test kits. However, the number of people taking the test totaled 918, with 50 testing reactive for COVID-19,” Bogor Regency Health Agency head Mike Kaltarina said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Health workers at the posts denied entry to the 50 people who tested reactive, advised them to take a swab test and recommended that they go home.
Mike said the regency had implemented the random rapid testing measure to avoid new infection clusters from emerging in Puncak during the surge in visitors over the extended holiday. She hoped the strict measure would limit the number of potential holidaymakers to Puncak to rethink their plans and reschedule their visit for another time.
“We just started the testing today [Thursday], but seeing that the number of incoming vehicles continue to grow, we will [continue] testing until Sunday,”said Mike, adding that the agency had readied an additional 3,000 rapid test kits to cover the remainder of the long weekend holiday.
“As many as 45 medical workers and healthcare workers from 10 puskemas[community health centers], backed by members of the National Police and Satpol PP [Public Order Agency], are stationed at the [rapid testing] posts,” she said.
The regency administration is encouraging tourists who have taken independent COVID-19 tests to bring along their test results.
As part of its health and safety measures, the administration is also monitoring tourist attractions to ensure that visitors comply with the 3M health protocol of “Memakai masker, Menjaga jarak dan Mencuci tangan” (wear masks, maintain physical distance and wash hands).
"We will set up checkpoints with the COVID-19 task force and other relevant agencies," Bogor Regent Ade Yasin said on Tuesday.
Some of the selected monitoring “hot spots” are Gadog, Riung Gunung, Matahari Tourism Park and Gunung Mas.
"Gunung Mas is one of the favorite [destinations]. Sometimes, when access to Gadog is restricted, visitors will take alternative roads and crowds suddenly emerge at Gunung Mas," the regent noted.
He added that the Public Order Agency would conduct surprise inspections at tourist attractions to prevent crowds and large gatherings. (nkn)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.