Preventing the Spread of Omicron in Papua, the Border Gate in Skow-Sotta is Closed – A Deputy for Management of Potential Border Areas at the National Border Management Agency (BNPP) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri) Paulus Waterpauw requested that the state borders at Skow, Jayapura City and Sotta, Merauke be totally closed. This is to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.

“In the near future we will send a Telegram to the Minister of Home Affairs as the head of BNPT regarding the total closure of this border area,” said Paulus Waterpauw during a meeting with the Nusantara Association in Jayapura City, Sunday (6/2/2022).

There are official gates in the border area, but there are also pathways, where people from the other side (PNG) usually use them to enter Indonesian territory to shop for groceries.

“So, we do the closures not only at official gates but also rat streets. I have coordinated with the TNI Commander and XVII/Cenderawasih Military Commander, because TNI units are mostly on duty at the Skow and Sotta borders,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Papua Province COVID-19 Prevention, Control and Handling Task Force, dr. Silwanus Sumule said that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had entered Papua. This is based on data from the Ministry of Health.

“It’s true, some have been exposed to the Omicron variant in Papua, as announced by the Indonesian Ministry of Health on Saturday (5/2/2022),” he said.

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According to Silwanus, Papua is starting to have an increase in cases in nine districts and the city of Jayapura.

The nine regencies are Mimika, Merauke, Biak Numfor, Asmat, Jayawijaya, Mappi, Yapen Islands, Keerom, and Paniai regencies.

“I hope that every government and private hospital prepares personnel, treatment rooms and all supporting facilities to deal with the surge in cases due to Omicron. This is because one of the characteristics of this variant is that it spreads very quickly,” he said.

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