Researcher Calls for Better Contact Tracing

Diana Mariska
COVID-19 Mural
COVID-19 Mural - A researcher at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has asked the Indonesian government to improve its contact tracing capacity, so more infection can be detected amid the surge of Omicron cases.

According to Amin Soebandrio from Eijkman Research Center for Molecular Biology at BRIN, the recent capacity is not in accordance to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standard.

“As we know, according to WHO standard, when one case is detected, around 30 people will be traced. [Indonesia] hasn’t reached that capacity yet, but it has been quite numerous,” Soebandrio said on Monday, January 10, as reported by Antara.

He added that because Omicron has been transmitted locally, the testing, tracing, and treatment must be improved, especially considering that patients are often asymptomatic or experience relatively mild symptoms.

Compared to the outbreak of Delta variant last year, Omicron also poses greater risk of infection. To put it into perspective, one Delta case could infect six to eight people.

Therefore, contact tracing among public needs to be improve if the government is serious in the efforts to contain the COVID-19 infection.

While confirming that Indonesia’s tracing capacity isn’t yet up to WHO’s standard, he praised the gradual improvement over time made by the authority.

“Currently, the government’s contact tracing effort related to the spread of Omicron is better compared to the past efforts,” the researcher said.

At least 414 Omicron cases have been confirmed in Indonesia as of Saturday.

Ministry of Health encouraged regions to strengthen the testing, tracing, treatment procedure and to actively conduct monitoring if new COVID-19 clusters are found. They’re also warned to immediately report and coordinate with the central government if Omicron cases are detected.

Tag # covid19 # brin # eijkman institute # contact tracing # pandemic # health # ministry of health

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