TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono, predicted that the possible COVID-19 third wave in Jakarta triggered by the Omicron variant would not be as severe as the second wave caused by the Delta variant.
According to him, this is because the high vaccination rate and the Omicron variant do not likely cause severe symptoms.
“Many people have been vaccinated and have immunity now. And the characteristics of the virus are different from the previous variant (Delta),” said Pandu to Tempo, Tuesday, Jan. 11.
However, he encouraged the public not to be careless and always tighten the discipline in complying with the predetermined health protocols since the variant remains dangerous for the elderly, people with comorbidities, and unvaccinated people.
Pandu also suggested the government focus on monitoring hospital bed occupancy, rather than the rising number of positive cases considering people infected with the variant presented mild symptoms or even asymptomatic that do not require hospitalization.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria, meanwhile, said the city administration had prepared a scenario for dealing with the COVID-19 third wave after the increasing occupancy rate of COVID-19 isolation beds and ICU beds.
M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH