Omicron Variant Widespread; Epidemiologist Talks of End of COVID-19 Pandemic

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • A person passing under a red zone announcement in the Krukut area, Taman Sari, Jakarta, Monday, January 10, 2022. After the discovery of 36 residents who were positive for Covid-19, as many as four RTs in Krukut Village carried out a micro-lockdown. TEMPO/Muhammad Hidayat

    A person passing under a red zone announcement in the Krukut area, Taman Sari, Jakarta, Monday, January 10, 2022. After the discovery of 36 residents who were positive for Covid-19, as many as four RTs in Krukut Village carried out a micro-lockdown. TEMPO/Muhammad Hidayat

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaPandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, opined that the current widespread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Indonesia could be considered as a natural vaccination process.

    The Omicron variant is said to be less dangerous than the Delta variant. By means, people infected with the new variant of concern are predicted to recover faster and at the same time receive natural immunity.

    The virus transmission, however, is much faster than that of the Delta variant, pushing the natural vaccination among the public. This is predicted to be a sign of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia.

    “If there is fast transmission, many people will get immunity. Moreover, this virus does not cause many severe symptoms, especially for vaccinated people. So people consider this a natural vaccination,” said Pandu to Tempo, Tuesday, Jan. 11.

    However, Pandu Riono asked the public not to do experiments by intentionally transmitting the virus to themselves given that the Delta variant still haunts the public. The Omicron variant remains a hazard for people with weak immunity and comorbidities. Complying with the health protocols and expanding the vaccination coverage are still needed to prevent a soaring number of virus transmissions.

    Pandu also argued that the Omicron variant is likely difficult to detect as it does not cause severe symptoms. He suggested the use of face masks be more tightened while the government expands the vaccination coverage to children and provides booster shots for the elderly.

    Read: Indonesia's Omicron Cases Estimated to Peak Early February: Luhut

    M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH