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By Mohd Shukri Ishak
JAKARTA, July 19 -- Indonesia today recorded 1,338 deaths due to COVID-19 – the highest daily number recorded so far – even though the number of new cases dropped to 34,257 in the past 24 hours.
Indonesia is continuing with firm measures to curb the pandemic with Muslims in the world's largest Muslim-populated country celebrating Aidiladha tomorrow prohibited from congregational special prayers marking the occasion in Java and Bali.
However, the Indonesian government stipulates that other provinces (other than Java and Bali, and districts or cities with red zone status) are allowed to perform the prayers with strict COVID-19 health protocol.
"Congregational prayers in other provinces are allowed, provided that the maximum capacity in houses of worship is only 30 per cent with strict health protocol practices," said National COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito in a press conference via webinar.
The ‘qurban’ sacrificial rituals are also allowed, but those involved in the activity must undergo antigen testing (screening tests), and mass distribution of sacrificial meat to large crowds is not allowed.
Cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia have continued to increase sharply due to mass exodus of going back to hometowns during the last Aidilfitri celebration, as well as the spread of the Delta variant.
The Indonesian government has also enforced a travel ban for the Aidiladha celebration.
According to data by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency posted via its Twitter account @BNPB_Indonesia today, the total number of deaths due to the virus has now increased to 79,420 people.
As of today, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia is 2,911,733 with 542,938 active (treated) patients.
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