Epidemiologist Optimistic COVID-19 Surge Will Drop before Eid Holidays

9 February 2022 07:20 WIB

Muslims wear face masks when they are going to perform the Eid al-Fitr 1442 Hijri prayer in Jakarta, May 13, 2021. Muslims continue to apply health protocols during Eid prayers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. TEMPO/Fajar January

TEMPO.CO, JakartaAn epidemiologist from Australia's Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, shared optimism that the wave of COVID-19 transmission due to the Omicron variant in Indonesia will stop before the Eid holidays in early May. He assessed that unwanted situations during the upcoming Eid could be avoided on conditions.

“The conditions are: by accelerating two doses of vaccination and a booster shot," said Dicky to Tempo, Tuesday, February 8.

According to him, the enforcement of the public activity restrictions or PPKM Level 3 in Jakarta Greater Area or Jabodetabek and a number of other regions was ideal amid rising Omicron cases as it was neither too strict nor too loose.

To curb COVID-19, Dicky believed that PPKM is still necessary for the effectiveness of the 3T (Testing, Tracing, and Treatment) program, implementation of the health protocols, and vaccinations.

Dicky also acknowledged that Omicron might not the last variant of concern, and there will possibly be another wave of COVID-19 in the future. However, if the vaccination program continues to be intensified, then there will be no problem.

“If we have received vaccines, especially the booster shot, there will be no problem with [new] variants. [COVID-19] will later be like flu, that is dangerous to vulnerable groups,” he remarked.

The epidemiologist further asked the government and the public not to be lulled by the statistics of the Omicron death which tend to be low given that it could be because of the low quality of data reports in the field.

Indonesia’s number of COVID-19 cases continued to increase. On Tuesday, Feb. 8, the authority recorded 37,492 new cases, which was mostly contributed by Jakarta with 10,817 infections.

Read: 5 Provinces Major Contributors to Indonesia's Covid-19 Case on February 8

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