Epidemiologist Calls for Immediate Lockdown or 100% WFH Policy

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    The word "COVID-19" is reflected in the drop of a syringe in an illustration taken on November 9, 2020. [REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration]

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaEpidemiologist from Australia Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, opined that lockdown is the best option to contain Covid-19 cases which are currently skyrocketing, particularly in Jakarta.

    Dicky, however, added that the lockdown could not be carried out only in the capital city. “Because this happens in all regions, not only in Jakarta, but in Java,” he said via voice message to Tempo on Sunday evening, June 27.

    The pandemic is getting worse, he argued. Moreover, the virus has now reached vulnerable and high-risk groups, both in terms of age, comorbidities, or other risk factors. He deemed this month as the worst for Indonesia.

    Dicky also suggested offices enforce 100 percent work from home or WFH policy for its employees for the next two weeks in order to significantly suppress virus transmission as the people’s mobility is restricted. 

    “Then we evaluate it after two weeks. This must be done if the government is serious [in handling the pandemic]. But this must be applied in Java, not only in Jakarta,” Dicky asserted.

    Jakarta has logged a significant surge in Covid-19 cases in the past few days. On Sunday, June 27, the city’s Health Agency recorded 9,394 new cases.

    Based on the data, Dicky considered the pandemic in Indonesia as an extraordinary event. To overcome this, he argued, extraordinary efforts are needed. He also criticized the government’s risk communication strategy that led to public confusion.

    Dicky cited an example, the government imposes strict Covid-19 restrictions but allows people to travel. “As a result, people are getting more ignorant and not developing a sense of crisis,” said the epidemiologist.

    Read: Over 13 Million Indonesians Get Fully Vaccinated, Says COVID-19 Task Force

    ADAM PRIREZA