Indonesia's Omicron Cases Estimated to Peak Early February: Luhut
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has estimated that the peak of Omicron infections in Indonesia will be reached in early February 2022.
The estimation is based on observations of other countries' experiences, where the Omicron variant reached its peak in the range of 40 days, which was faster than the Delta variant, he said.
"For Indonesia, we estimated the peak of the Omicron wave will occur in early February," Pandjaitan informed in a video statement received here on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, most of the Omicron patients are expected to experience mild symptoms, so the government has prepared a different strategy from the one used for handling Delta cases, he added.
The minister said that Omicron has been detected in 150 countries and has triggered a new wave of infections with higher peaks in various countries.
According to Pandjaitan, it is possible for Indonesia to experience the same thing.
"We do not need to panic but remain vigilant," he said.
He emphasized that Indonesia is now more prepared to face any potential COVID-19 wave that the Omicron variant may cause.
This readiness is supported by higher vaccination rates, much higher testing and tracing capacity, and a much better-prepared health system in terms of medicines, hospital beds, health personnel, oxygen, and centralized isolation facilities, he said.
"Including Molnupiravir (COVID-19 oral treatment) from Merck, which the Minister of Health has imported," he added.
With these various preparations and by learning from past experiences, it is hoped that COVID-19 cases in Indonesia will not increase as much as in other countries, the minister said.
To this end, he emphasized that everyone must unite and comply with the regulations.
"We will not be able to achieve success in controlling the Omicron variant without the cooperation of all parties, especially in following the health protocols," he remarked.
The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020.
According to data provided by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of January 11, 2022, at least 4,267,451 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, while 4,116,648 people have recovered, and 144,144 people have succumbed to the virus.