Indonesia Cannot Apply Herd Immunity to Combat Covid-19: Expert

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia (UI), assessed that Indonesia could not apply herd immunity to suppress the spread of the new coronavirus that caused Covid-19.

    “Because it can only kick in when at least 60 percent to 80 percent of the Indonesian population get infected with the virus,” said Pandu via a text message on Wednesday, May 13.

    With such prerequisites, there will be many patients treated in hospitals, and some will succumb to the disease if the measure is taken.

    Herd immunity is an epidemiological concept that refers to a situation where enough people in a population are immune to infection so it will stop spreading. This can be achieved after 70 percent of the population positive for the disease gets recovered and becomes immune. Thus, the outbreak will become much less since most people are resistant to infection.

    At present, Pandu noted that only a few percents of the total Indonesian population tested positive for the virus. “In Wuhan, only five percent of the population got the disease.”

    As of May 9, 2020, the total Covid-19 cases in mainland China reportedly reached 82,901, while the death toll recorded at 4, 633 cases.

    Pandu believed that people must be disciplined in adopting a new lifestyle in order to curb Covid-19 cases. “What is the new lifestyle? Living healthy, wearing face masks, maintaining hygiene, and practicing community-based social restrictions.”

    Until May 12, 2020, Indonesia has 14,749 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Of which, 3, 063 patients have recovered and 1,007 others died.

    ANDITA RAHMA