Indonesia Pandemic Data

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Editor:

Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Indonesian government allegedly is not being honest in the provision of pandemic data for political reason.

    Doctoring data on the spread of the infectious coronavirus amid the pandemic could rightly be called premeditated mass murder. The manipulated data could lead to errors in the handling of the pandemic and result in deaths. Therefore, it must be stopped. There are many indications of data manipulation at various levels of government, which can be found from the oddities in the caseload data from a number of regions. The irregularities are generally related to reducing the reported number of tests, understanding the figure for active cases and concealing data of deaths. This is done to give the impression that all is well in particular regions.

    When epidemiologists, in May, were repeatedly warning of the possibility of a second wave of the virus infection, many regions were competing to understate th number of tests, with the purpose of retaining the 'green zone' status. Provision of misleading data leads to disaster. There are also allegations that Covid-19 data has been manipulated at the regency and city level.

    Problems with data have been apparent since the beginning of the pandemic. There is always a gapbetween data on the ground and the official fiures released every day. President Joko Widodo even said in March that the true figures were not released because the government "did not want to trigger unease and panic among the people." There are many possible motives behind the manipulation of the pandemic data.

    Manipulated data clearly endangers the public. Those who believe the bogus data become careless, drop their guard, and do not realize that the virus is now mutating into a more fatal variant. There might be eplosions of new cases. It is possible that some of those who have died are victims of this misleading information. False data is clearly a crime against humanity.

    Mislading data, on top of the denials issued by many officials, makes it difficult to deal with the pandemic. Dishonesty, excessive denial and lack of openness would clearly not solve the problem. Besides making the pandemic handling more difficult, this conduct erodes public trust. In international relations, the world will lose faith in Indonesia, which will affect many aspects in the country including the foreign investment and foreign tourist arrival.

    The government at all levels must provide accurate pandemic data. If not, they would be rightly mocked for only being ableto control data, not the spread of the virus.

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