TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Covid-19 Task Force has decided to lift the entry ban of the people coming from 14 countries to Indonesia. The decision was made upon the agreement during a limited meeting on January 10 and was stipulated in Covid-19 Task Force Circular Letter No. 2/2022 concerning Health Protocol during Abroad Travels in Pandemic.
Wiku Adisasmito, the task force spokesman, said the decision was made considering Omicron has spread to 150 of 195 countries around the world or 76 percent.
"If the countries listed are still banned [to enter Indonesia], it will hinder cross-country movement to maintain stabilities including the nation's economic recovery," said Wiku in his statement on Friday, January 14.
Meanwhile, the criteria for foreigners aiming to enter Indonesia are still as strict as before, which are stated in the aforementioned circular letter.
Based on the revocation of the entry ban, the government decided to equalize quarantine times for travelers to 7x24 hours as stated in Task Force Decision Letter No.3/2022 concerning the entry point, quarantine centers, and mandatory RT-PCR for Indonesians who traveled abroad.
According to Wiku, this decision was supported by scientific findings in several countries, such as the study by Brandal and associates in 2021 where they found that Omicron's incubation period is three days after exposures. The early investigation report in Japan in 2022 also stated the virus will peak on the third or sixth days following the symptoms.
Additionally, USA Centers for Disease Control or CDC has recommended a shorter quarantine period after it was scientifically proven that the infection is transmitted on the first or second days before the symptoms show until the following 2-3 days.
"Quarantine aims to find the symptoms, as there is a gap between the first contacts and when the symptoms show. Therefore, the chance of infection among the public is avoidable," WIku said.
Based on recent studies, he went on, the new variant symptoms are averagely detected early, that is why 7 days quarantine will suffice. "Especially with multiple tests at the entry and exit and strict monitoring with SGTF and WGS that align with WHO multi-layered recommendations concerning the international travel."
EGY ADYATAMA | Graven (Intern)