July 11, 2020, 02.22 AM

KOMPAS.com – Indonesia has been warned not to keep its guard down in its Covid-19 fight as the country enters a dangerous new phase while total confirmed cases reaches 72,374.

On July 9, Indonesia’s daily new Covid-19 infections hit 2,657 cases, the biggest single-day tally recorded since the virus was first announced on March 2.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned that the coronavirus pandemic is still far from over.

Read also: Covid-19: Family of Doctors Die Just Days Apart in Indonesia’s Central Java

It has also reminded the public to stay alert and abide by health protocols to fight the transmission of the virus.

Dicky Budiman, epidemiologist at Griffith University, admitted that the end of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be predicted.

He shared with Kompas.com the three signs that allude to a possible end of a pandemic including that of the Covid-19 virus.

One of the three signs must be met in order to signal the end of a pandemic, he said.

First, the finding of a definitive drug that can effectively cure the Covid-19 disease or at least prevent the start of an infection (prophylaxis or PreP).

Second, the discovery of a vaccine that ensures effective immunity against any attacks from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Read also: Don't Expect a Covid-19 Vaccine Anytime Soon: Indonesia’s Erick Thohir

Third, natural immunity build-up after a large proportion of human beings have been infected by the Covid-19 virus.

On the matter of a Covid-19 drug, Dicky Budiman is optimistic that it will be found by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

The likelihood of a Covid-19 vaccine discovery is estimated at mid- or end-2021, however, his approximation is at the quickest, early to mid-2021.

Dicky expressed concern that the Indonesian government’s policies coupled with a significant number of people who ignore Covid-19 health protocols will affect the number of potential new positive cases as well as casualties.

Read also: Indonesian President Warns Against Complacency in Fight against Covid-19

The July-September period is what he considers the dangerous phase as it is the easing of lockdown restrictions by the government.

“Especially because this is the process when exponential transmission happens from time to time. In the end, the transmission will reach the vulnerable groups or those with pre-existing conditions,” Dicky said.

As such, he warns that there will be an increasing number of people with medium to severe symptoms.

Read also: Indonesian Agriculture Ministry Upbeat on Its Anti-Coronavirus Eucalyptus Products

Among the suggestions Dicky offered to prevent transmission of the Covid-19 virus includes contact tracing, isolation, wearing masks, physical distancing, and regular handwashing.

He also recommended that people avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings.

Indonesian workers with a pre-existing condition are advised to work from home until at least October. 

(Writer: Nur Fitriatus Shalihah | Editor: Sari Hardiyanto) 

Source: https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/07/10/202437765/indonesia-disebut-masuk-fase-berbahaya-kapan-pandemi-akan-berakhir

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