JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Indonesia's Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the most important thing in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic is to reduce the transmission rate rather than to eliminate the virus.
Transmission may continue for a long time, but it is not expected to exceed the capacity of health services.
"The main goal of handling the pandemic is not to eliminate the virus. The virus can still exist for 10 years, 100 years, but what is important for us is that we can control the pandemic and flatten the curve [for the Covid-19]," said Budi on Tuesday, June 22.
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"The virus may spread, but the important thing is that the [number of] sick persons should never be higher than the capacity of hospitals," said Budi.
Budi gave an example, out of 100 percent of individuals who are exposed to Covid-19, 80 percent of them are isolated and can recover on their own, while 20 percent are treated in the hospital. Of the 20 percent, five percent will be admitted to the ICU.
"Out of the [total number of cases], 1.7 percent have died. That's the statistics so far," he said.
In addition, the fatality rate from the coronavirus is no more deadly than HIV or TB. Budi said the number of deaths from HIV and TB was higher than the Covid-19, but no elaborate.
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"Our enemy is the transmission [of the virus]. If there is a lot of transmissions, people don't die because of the disease, but they die because they can't be treated in the hospital," said Budi.