"Last week, only three regions, Banyuwangi, Bondowso, and Madiun, (were marked as red zones). The number swelled to 20 regions this week," Dr Makhyan Jibril, the task force spokesman, noted in Surabaya on Tuesday night.
Jibril attributed a spike in COVID-19 cases in several districts and cities to the increase in the number of red zones in the province.
The spokesman believes that the rising mobility of people two weeks ago, coupled with the new variant of coronavirus were causal to the increase in COVID-19 cases in nearly all cities and districts in East Java.
"Based on the epidemiological count by the Central COVID-19 Response Task Force, 20 cities and districts (in East Java) have been listed as red zones," he noted.
Jibril urged the people of East Java to stay disciplined in adhering to health protocols during the enforcement of emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM) in order to curb the emergence of new cases.
"My message is one M (manuto), which means just follow," he emphasized.
The 20 red zones are the districts of Banyuwangi, Ngawi, Lamongan, Sampang, Malang, Bangkalan, Pamekasan, Magetan, Ponorogo, Sidoarjo, Situbondo, Nganjuk, Lumajang, and Bondowoso as well as the cities of Probolingo, Madiun, Mojokerto, Malang, Kediri, and Batu.
Meanwhile, 18 cities and districts are listed as orange zones, or areas with a medium risk of COVID-19 transmission. They are the cities of Pasuruan, Blitar, and Surabaya and the districts of Gresik, Sumenep, Madiun, Pacitan, Kediri, Probolinggo, Tuban, Tulungagung, Blitar, Jember, Trenggalek, Pasuruan, Bojonegoro, Mojokerto, and Jombang.
According to the task force, East Java recorded 1,808 new COVID-19 cases and 1,077 recoveries on Tuesday, with 122 people succumbing to the infection.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, East Java had reported 182,076 cases, with 156,444, or 85.92 percent, of them recovering, and 13,138, or 7.21 percent, succumbing to the infection Meanwhile, 12,494 people are being treated for COVID-19.
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