Jakarta Neglects WHO Guides on Transition to New Normal: Expert



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaAn epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Syahrizal Syarif, predicted that the coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta will last longer and be difficult to contain given the city administration’s decision to ease the large-scale social restriction or PSBB before the disease is under control.

    He suggested the government prepare personnel to deal with increased virus transmission that caused Covid-19 as it began to resume public activities, either social or economic. “Every decision has its consequences,” he said via a text message.

    According to Syahrizal, the Jakarta administration had ignored six conditions set by the World Health Organization (WHO) before implementing a transition phase to a new normal era.

    First, a region can enforce a transition phase if the virus spread is already under control. By means, the number of virus cases in the region declines for fourteen days. “The curve neither falls nor rises. Even in this transition period, the curve [in Jakarta] rises,” he noted.

    Second, a region has an adequate health system to detect, conduct tests, isolate, and handle every case, as well as trace contacts between cases. Third, a region has minimized the risk of virus transmission in vulnerable areas. Fourth, schools, offices, and other essential places have adopted preventive measures.

    The fifth condition is that the risk of imported cases have been handled, and the last condition, the communities have been well-educated, involved, and empowered to live in a new normal era.

    “There are six conditions [set by WHO] but are not applied. [Jakarta government] considers social and economic problems,” Syahrizal opined.

    To prevent a further hike in Covid-19 cases, Syahrizal advised the Jakarta administration to enact stricter law enforcement for every violation, particularly the use of face masks, to increase the quantity of massive Covid-19 tests, and ban people from red zones from entering the capital.