TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Epidemiologist from Australia's Griffith University Dicky Budiman predicted that Indonesia would need about two more years to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our war against COVID-19 is not over yet. We still need time and at least two more years for Indonesia,” Dicky told Tempo today, March 1.
According to him, it will be a vulnerable time as the pandemic has already been causing multi-sectoral and multi-faceted impacts. Thus, it takes proper and rapid mitigation and responses from the government on every level with the support of all stakeholders.
Referring to the scientific study published by The Lancet, Dicky explained that any country should not and cannot refer to daily cases in reviewing its performance or trend in handling the pandemic.
In Indonesia, for example, despite the declining trend of new daily infections, epidemiologists have warned the government not to be impressed and obsessed with it. “Because it's not valid, particularly in Indonesia with low testing capacity and tracing effort. That's very invalid,” he said.
Such acts, he added, would be harmful as they could lead to misleading, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding.
Additionally, the country’s positivity rate marking the percentage of positive results of the swab tests per the total number of people tested has always been above 10 percent since the onset of the pandemic. This can be a pile of homework, Dicky opined.
If the issues could not be contained overnight, Dicky suggested the government carry it out gradually and take careful, precise, and comprehensive strategies, such as optimizing the 3T program (tracing, testing, and treatment) and COVID-19 vaccinations.