Govt Urged to Focus on Healthcare System over Omicron Spread Containment

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Antara

9 January 2022 18:03 WIB

The Wisma Atlet Kemayoran Hospital after the discovery of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 case, in Jakarta, Friday, December 17, 2021. TEMPO/Muhammad Hidayat

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - House of Representatives' Commission IX deputy head Charles Honoris urged the government to prioritize improving the national healthcare system over containing the infection spread in facing the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

"Akin to several countries in the world, Indonesia has also recorded a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 Omicron infection cases," Honoris noted in Jakarta on Saturday.

Some epidemiologists even cautioned that the daily cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Indonesia might surpass 300 thousand due to the strain having a high transmission rate, he noted.

As the variant would lead to an inevitable hike in the number of positive cases, the legislator suggested the government to ready the national healthcare system by ensuring the availability of hospital beds and health equipment as well as stockpiling COVID-19 medicines.

Honoris urged the government to ensure sufficient healthcare personnel for prompt handling of positive patients with deteriorating health conditions and boost public confidence in the national healthcare system.

Despite the high transmission rate, residents should not panic, as the Omicron variant has a relatively low death rate and seldom causes severe symptoms, he pointed out.

The legislator pointed out that patients infected with the Omicron variant would recover in three to five days, as the virus only affects the upper respiratory system and does not infect the lungs.

Mild symptoms of the Omicron variant are commonly reported by patients infected by the variant and are currently under quarantine in Jakarta, he noted.

"I suggest enforcement of restriction in activities not based on the infection rate as its main parameter but rather to use the healthcare system's preparedness, such as the bed occupancy rate, in a region. If the region records a high bed occupancy rate, the restriction level must be increased," Honoris remarked.

He also urged residents to consistently observe health protocols to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and alleviate pressure in the local healthcare system.

Some health experts also forecast that the Omicron variant marks the start of the COVID-19 endemic stage or even the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated.

Read: Jakarta Records 271 Omicron Cases; 40 Local Transmissions

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