Surge in new Covid-19 cases because government has become complacent: Expert

Source – November 5, 2022
Griffith University Epidemiologist Dicky Budiman – Undated (Merdeka)

Fika Nurul Ulya, Jakarta – Global health security researcher Dicky Budiman says that the government has been too neglectful about Covid-19 mutations which continue to occur.

This has resulted in new Covid-19 cases rising to 5,000 cases per day since the Omicron XXB sub-variant entered Indonesia.

On the other hand, access to booster vaccines is still difficult at hospitals and other healthcare facilitates.

"The [government's] neglect can be clearly seen, from communication which is too optimistic and failing to build vigilance. Including a lack of booster vaccine availability", Budiman told on Saturday November 5.

In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 meanwhile, Budiman believes that applying health protocols is still the most relevant method. He is appealing to the public to maintain clean and healthy behaviours such as washing hands, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Then, Budiman also believes that regulations on working from home (WFH) and working from the office (WFO) need to be implemented and that the government must take responsibility for early detection and providing vaccinations.

"The government [should] conduct early detection and pursue other mitigation efforts with restrictions, but it doesn't have to be with PPKM [Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities] levels, but a constant commitment to apply it", said Budiman.

After booster vaccines become available, Budiman is urging the public to take advantage of this and look for the vaccines, particularly if they have already received a primary vaccination 5-6 months ago.

The choice of vaccine does not always have to be vaccines developed by an mRNA platform like Pfizer or Moderna, but can also be vaccines developed by protean recombination like Novavax or even Indonesia's locally produced Indovac.

"I also recommend this, my suggestion to the government is if possible Indovac should be made available immediately (provided), because the scientific data supports [its use]", said Budiman.

As of Friday November 4 at 12 noon, the number of new Covid-19 cases increased by 5,303 over the last 24 hours bringing the total to 6,512,913 cases since March 2, 2020.

Jakarta occupies first position with the largest number of additional confirmed cases at 2,036, followed by West Java with 718 cases, East Java 685 cases, Banten 487 cases and Central Java with 426 cases.

Meanwhile the number of active cases rose by 2,025 in the last 24 hours reaching a total of 34,155 active cases.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kasus Covid-19 Melonjak, Pakar Sebut Efek Pemerintah Terlalu Abai".]