Epidemiologist Predicts PSBB can Be Relaxed by July End



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Head of Epidemiology from the University of Indonesia (UI), Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, predicted that the government could gradually ease the Large-Scale Social Restrictions or PSBB at the end of July. However, this could be done as long as the government enforced the order optimally.

    “The curve has not yet dropped now. So the social restriction must not be eased,” said Tri to Tempo on Tuesday, May 19.

    He reiterated that the trend in positive cases in Indonesia kept rising, and the number reached 500 per day. However, the figure was obtained since Indonesia could only hold 8,000 PCR tests daily.

    Tri opined if more people get tested, the hike would also be higher. “The tests are still limited. So the recorded hike is only 500 cases. In fact, the number [of infected people] can be higher.”

    If the government rushed to relax the restrictions, Tri added, the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could be higher, and the pandemic could even be more difficult to be dealt with.

    Countries that have managed to suppress virus transmission such as China even have the potential of a second wave. “Wuhan that already has zero cases was still unsafe, let alone us who are not stable,” he added.

    The government, Tri went on, could gradually ease the restrictions in provinces recording a few cases such as East Nusa Tenggara. Meanwhile, the PSBB order in Jabodetabek should not be eased until the curve declines.