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December 21, 2020, 07.18 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The social stigma associated with Covid-19 in Indonesia is getting in the way of efforts to see people going to health facilities for testing.

There is shame resulting from the stigma, said Turro Wongkaren, Covid-19 Task Force Expert Team for Behavior Change. This has caused some Indonesians to avoid explaining the actual symptoms of their ailment, making it difficult to break the chain of transmission, he added.

Read also: 7 Airports in Indonesia Offer Rapid Antigen Covid-19 Tests

“The first stigma is the feeling of self-shame if one person in the family ended up transmitting the virus to their working parents or if they caused a family member to fall ill. The individual feels ashamed to have been the spreader of the virus in the family.”

The second stigma of Covid-19 in Indonesia involves the general public’s perception of virus-stricken patients.

Both Covid-19 stigmas are disappointing and run deep in Indonesian society, according to Turro.

He explained that although the public view on Covid-19 patients has improved, the more predominant stigma involves self-shaming.

“There are plenty of people who harbor internal fears.”

Read also: Anies Baswedan: Jakarta Govt Doing Its Best in Mitigating Covid-19

With the coronavirus pandemic nearing its one-year anniversary in Indonesia since it was first announced in March 2020, Turro said that the public has become numb to the thought of the virus.

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