Indonesia Plans to Make COVID-19 an Endemic by April 2022

Diana Mariska
Closed shops in Gondangdia Station, Central Jakarta , on November 16, 2021.
Closed shops in Gondangdia Station, Central Jakarta , on November 16, 2021. - The Indonesian government set out a plan to make COVID-19 an endemic by April 2022, but it warned people to remain rigorous in implementing health protocols.

Head of behavioral change unit at the National COVID-19 Task Force Sonny Harry B. Harmadi said the target is based on the current pandemic handling in Indonesia, which he considered to be among the best.

“Indonesia is recognized globally as having one of the best COVID-19 handlings in the world, but we shouldn’t be complacent. Or we risk going backward again,” Harmadi said in Jakarta on Saturday, December 11.

It has happened in several countries with more than 70 percent vaccination rate: COVID-19 waves repeated themselves as people took the health protocols very lightly.

Harmadi said there are a number of pandemic scenarios in Indonesia for the next few months. If the vaccination rate is low, health protocols are ignored, restrictions are eased, and new variant enters the territory, case surge or third wave are expected to happen in January 2022. If that happens, it means the condition will be similar to that of July this year during the peak of the Delta variant, and Indonesians will have to start over.

However, Indonesia may end the pandemic early and make it an endemic if vaccination is accelerated, health protocols continue to be implemented, new variants can be prevented from entering Indonesia, and mobility is controlled.

There’s strong optimism that Indonesia will be successful in reaching its target. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Indonesia has to carry out testing to 280,000 people per week with new daily cases at 2,700 maximum.

Since October 2021, Indonesia manages to conduct more than 200,000 tests every week, and daily cases have been kept under 1,000.

The Indonesian government also continues to put travel restrictions in place, especially after the new COVID-19 variant Omicron caused new waves in many countries.

Currently, Indonesia requires international arrivals to self-isolate for 10 days, and there’s also an entry ban for people coming from countries with identified Omicron cases.

Tag # covid19 # pandemic # endemic # vaccination # travel restriction

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