PPKM Relaxation Can't Be Implemented Yet, Epidemiologist Says

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  • An ambulance passes near a roadblock during the delivery of a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as cases surge in Depok, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, July 13, 2021. As Indonesia's health service struggles to cope with soaring coronavirus infections, volunteer ambulance drivers like Sunaryo have been working flat out to bring infected patients to and from hospitals. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    An ambulance passes near a roadblock during the delivery of a patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as cases surge in Depok, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, July 13, 2021. As Indonesia's health service struggles to cope with soaring coronavirus infections, volunteer ambulance drivers like Sunaryo have been working flat out to bring infected patients to and from hospitals. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An epidemiologist with the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono, said the relaxation of the public mobility restriction or PPKM actually can yet to be implemented as not many changes recorded since it was first re-introduced on July 3.

    He said that the reduced number of Covid-19 daily cases was caused by the lowered number of testing. Meanwhile, the hospital bed occupancy is still high.

    However, he believes that the government will still lift the Covid curbs even though the health indicator has not show an improvement. Pandu Riono predicted that the relaxation would not be implemented in all regions, but only in the regions where the economy hit the hardest by the PPKM enforcement.

    "Possibly in regions with high economic growth that are affected, such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, where there are many demonstrations [were held]," he said Saturday, July 24.

    Besides the epidemiology factor, he predicted that the people's condition would also become an indicator, including the recent demonstrations. "Trust me, that would be used as the reason to relax [the Covid-19 restrictions]," Pandu said.

    President Jokowi previously announced that he would relax the PPKM in Java-Bali starting on July 26 if there is a decline in Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said that there are four factors to do the relaxation of the restriction and one of them is the downward trend in cases.

    Read: Experts Argue Validity of Emergency PPKM in Reducing Covid-19 Cases

    Tempo.co