COVID-19 Case Surge Likely to Be Insignificant Due to High Vaccination Rate

Diana Mariska
Passengers in Kalideres terminal in West Jakarta. (Photo: ANTARA/Dewa Ketut Sudiarta Wiguna)
Passengers in Kalideres terminal in West Jakarta. (Photo: ANTARA/Dewa Ketut Sudiarta Wiguna) - A health expert has predicted that the surge of COVID-19 cases after Idul Fitri holidays will likely be insignificant as vaccination rate in Indonesia is higher compared to the previous periods.

Head of COVID-19 task force at the Indonesian Medical Association, or IDI, Zubairi Djoerban said the probability of a new spike in COVID-19 cases exists, but the numbers are expected to be relatively insignificant.

“As of now, the percentage of people who have been vaccinated should be quite high, so the concern [related to case surge] is there, but it isn’t big,” Djoerban said on Thursday, May 19, as reported by Antara.

He added that compared to the previous holiday periods in the country, case surge was inevitable because the number of Indonesians who had been vaccinated was still low and hadn’t reached target.

However, despite the protection offered by vaccines, the medical professor admitted that the massive number who participated in mass exodus mudik tradition still poses a threat to the national COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“Even though the positivity rate is very low – less than three percent – but the number of people who went on Lebaran mudik trips was huge – more than 50 million people. Therefore, even though the percentage is low, if it’s multiplied by tens of millions, then it can be worrying,” Djoerban explained.

He also said that it will take two to four weeks to learn a change in COVID-19 transmission pattern in Indonesia.

Earlier this week, the national COVID-19 Task Force recommended the public to get tested for the disease after a long-distance travel, so the spread of the virus can be regularly contained.

“We’re expecting your awareness to get tested, especially those with long-distance travel history, those who visited crowded places, and people who don’t feel well and have symptoms,” the Task Force’s spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Transportation has predicted that more than 80 million Indonesians would take part in mudik that would see them travel from one region to another.

This phenomenon is expected to trigger a new COVID-19 case surge, and the Ministry of Health said a significant surge would be detectable by late May.

Tag # indonesia mudik # indonesia covid # covid19 task force # indonesian medical association # idul fitri

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