New Normal should be `Now Normal` for Controlling COVID-19: Expert
23 January 2022 10:15 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The new normal habits, which involve the observance of stringent health protocols, should be "now normal" to control the recent COVID-19 surge, Prof. Tjandra Yoga Aditama from the University of Indonesia's Faculty of Medicine has said.
"The rise of COVID-19 cases that have exceeded more than 2,000 today has to be controlled through additional efforts," he wrote in an electronic message on Saturday.
"Health protocols cannot simply just be implemented, they should be made more stringent," he added.
He underscored the importance of putting extra effort, such as the implementation of direct on-the-field regulations to complement the work from home policy.
In addition, it needs to be considered whether face-to-face learning must be implemented at 100-percent or 75 percent capacity, he opined.
Other efforts concern bolstering testing and tracing, including increasing the availability of PCR tests, he said.
"Case tracing should also be massively bolstered due to local transmission that has reached hundreds of people," he affirmed.
Case tracing should be done to determine others that the patients have infected and from where they have been infected, he said.
Moreover, vaccinations should continue to be expanded, both for the primary dose and the third or booster dose, he added.
As per data from the Health Ministry, as of January 22, 2022, 86.77 percent of Indonesians have received the first vaccine dose and 59.43 percent the second dose, he noted.
"It will be better if booster vaccinations are bolstered and made easier to implement," Aditama said.
The effort to prevent infection from international travelers, including through post-quarantine monitoring, could also be done, he suggested.
"Intensify surveillance stringently with accurate data," he remarked.
While it is important to pull the emergency brake if deemed necessary, it cannot be done too soon if it is not too necessary, he added.
In addition, risk communication to the public should also be intensified and involve not only edifying people on existing programs but also easing their concerns.