KOMPAS.com – The World Health Organization (WHO) continued to work closely with Indonesia in the country’s fight against the coronavirus, following the publication of its Indonesia Situation report Friday.
The WHO urged the Health Ministry to reassess its operational responses to the pandemic before loosening conditions for Large Scale Social Distancing.
Concerns over statistic discrepancies
The organization particularly conveyed concerns about discrepancies in statistical figures.
“The number of cases reported daily is not equivalent to the number of persons who contracted COVID-19 on that day; reporting of laboratory-confirmed results may take up to one week from the time of testing” said the 21 page report.
The WHO also noted the high positivity rate in a number of provinces, even those that noted decreasing coronavirus cases. East Java has led the way with 30.9 percent positivity rate, followed by Central Java at 11.1 percent and DKI Jakarta with 8.5 percent.
Preparing for the New Normal
Also read: Jakarta Prepares to Step Into the New Normal
The WHO backed the Indonesian government in implementing the New Normal policy, which includes the reopening of offices, businesses, hospitals and houses of worship as well as other establishments at half capacity. However, this step will be scrutinized closely.
“An ‘emergency brake policy’ will be in place to stop the reopening if implementation of health protocols fails and cases resurge” the WHO report said.
The WHO also laid out a number of ‘non-negotiable’ precautions for the the New Normal phase, namely:
• Active surveillance and case detection with PCR tests of all suspected cases. At least 1 PCR test per 1000 population perweek in transmission areas, and their results made available within 24 – 48 hours
• Rapid isolation of all suspected and confirmed cases
• Ensure that people frequently clean hands; wear masks in public and work places; and maintain physical distancing of at least 1 meter from others
Other measures included the continued use of masks by people over the age of 60 or underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The WHO also praised President Joko Widodo for more aggressive contact tracing. The president has set a target 20.000 polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests per day.
Currently, the price for a PCR test at private hospitals varies from Rp. 2 million (US$ 142) to Rp. 2.5 million (US$ 178).
To date, 5.825 people have undergone PCR tests out of a total of 287.478 that were tested for the coronavirus. Jakarta has undergone the brunt of coronavirus cases, with 8.748 people out of 36.406 nationwide.
564 of them died of Covid-19, while another 3.840 recovered from the disease. (Writers: Jawahir Gustav Rizal/Nur Fitriatus Shalihah/ Editors: Rizal Setyo Nugroho)
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