Luhut on Possible New COVID-19 Variants: We Can't Spend Time Arguing

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (left) inspects the MSME booth at the peak event of the Proudly Made in Indonesia National Movement in Puncak Waringin, Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, Friday 18 June 2021. The activity entitled

    Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (left) inspects the MSME booth at the peak event of the Proudly Made in Indonesia National Movement in Puncak Waringin, Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, Friday 18 June 2021. The activity entitled "Digital Sparkling Flobamora" This is expected to support the government's program to restore the national economy and tourism affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. ANTARA PHOTOS/Rivan Awal Lingga

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaCoordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan talked of possible new COVID-19 variants that were more transmissible and had a greater risk of infection that may emerge in the future. The possibility of a new coronavirus mutation was previously highlighted by the World Health Organization or WHO.

    “WHO announces the possibilities of new variants that spread even faster and cause stronger infections. We are facing threats ahead. So we cannot spend time arguing. What’s important is we work to deal with the worst possibilities in the future,” said Luhut in the inauguration event of the Pertamina Jaya Hospital Arafah Hajj Dormitory Jakarta, Monday, July 19.

    In the midst of uncertainty, Luhut opined that togetherness, solidarity, unity, and behavior change were necessary to deal with the current crisis that had lingered for more than a year.

    He underlined that all parties must be united. “[Instead of] looking for who is wrong, who is right, who is the most accomplished person, and who is not. Everything is teamwork, all for us and the Republic of Indonesia,” Luhut said.

    WHO on Thursday, July 15, warned of the strong likelihood for the emergence and global spread of new and possibly more dangerous variants of concern in the future. The new virus mutations were feared to be more challenging to contain the pandemic.

    To date, four COVID-19 variants that dominate the global pandemic are the Alpha variant, the Beta variant, the Gamma variant, and the Delta variant, which spreads faster than the other variants.

    Read: Govt Urged to Extend Emergency PPKM to Curb Delta Variant Cases

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA | THE STRAIT TIMES