JAKARTA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday asked his people to reduce mobility, avoid crowds and work from home whenever possible as the country is struggling with a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered by the Omicron variant.
"If you don't have any urgent needs, you should reduce activities in crowded places, and for those who can work from home, do work from home," Widodo said.
The president also asked people not to go abroad if it was not urgent, follow health protocols and immediately reach out for COVID-19 vaccination.
Various studies, including those from the World Health Organization, showed that the Omicron variant is more contagious with milder symptoms, but people should still be wary of it, Widodo said.
As of Tuesday, the country recorded 840 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, including 174 local transmissions.
The majority of the Omicron cases were imported cases brought by international travelers returning from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.
On Tuesday, Indonesia confirmed a total of 1,362 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day rise since October last year, amid the spread of the Omicron variant in the archipelago.
With the increase, the country's tally of infections rose to 4,273,783, the Health Ministry said.
In the past 24 hours, the death toll from COVID-19 in the country rose by nine to 144,183, while 564 more people recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 4,120,036.
As the Indonesian government is accelerating its national vaccination programs, more than 177.25 million people have received their first doses of vaccines, while over 120.62 million have taken the second doses.
Indonesia started mass COVID-19 vaccinations in January last year after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.
Aiming to fully vaccinate 208.2 million people in the country, the Indonesian government has administered over 299.22 million doses, including the third booster jabs.