COVID-19 cases in Kudus, Central Java are skyrocketing.
This drastic spike is said to be occurring due to residents who were desperate to hold gatherings during Eid al-Fitr 2021.
“This situation is occurring as a result of religious tourism activities in the form of pilgrimages, as well as the Kupatan tradition carried out by Kudus residents seven days after Eid. This triggers crowds and increases transmission in the community,” said the spokesman for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito.
He continued, “This is exacerbated by the large number of health workers there who are currently suffering from COVID-19, as many as 189 people. Several hospitals haven’t implemented strict and disciplined red, yellow, and green zoning, triage of COVID-19, and non-COVID-19 patients and their families.”
Wiku added that, due to this tradition, the number of COVID-19 cases in Kudus increased 30 times, even higher on a national scale. As a result, almost all the local COVID-19 referral hospitals are fully occupied.
“Kudus experienced significant positive cases in one week, up more than 30 times. From 26 cases to 929 cases. This brings the number of cases in Kudus to 1,280 cases or 21.48 percent of the total positive cases. Quite a large number when compared to national active cases which are only 5.47 percent,” said Wiku.
Wiku then reminded the task force for handling COVID-19 in other areas to be able to anticipate the spread of COVID-19.
“We request that the regional task forces anticipate traditions and culture in their respective regions so that they can immediately determine the best treatment and policies that can be taken so that cases do not increase sharply as in Kudus. We also hope that local governments can directly coordinate with the central government, especially if there are difficulties with medical treatment,” he said.
This skyrocketing number of cases in Kudus is similar to India’s situation. As a result of residents being desperate to hold the Kumbh Mela religious tradition, COVID-19 cases there have soared.
The Kumbh Mela Festival, or Kendi Festival, is one of the most sacred rituals in Hinduism. This ritual is celebrated four times over 12 years.
This bathing ritual is usually carried out at four locations on the Ganges River, namely Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain, and Nashik. By bathing in the four rivers, it is believed that worshippers can free themselves from committed sins.