Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Syahrizal Syarif, opined that Covid-19 cases in Jakarta and other regions could not be controlled without implementing lockdown or regional quarantine.
"If [the government] wants to seriously stop Covid-19, enforce a lockdown for 28 days. This is the only policy that can clear up positive cases in a region," Syahrizal said on Tuesday, February 9.
According to him, a local quarantine is the only solution to curb the rapid transmission of coronavirus. By enforcing quarantine for two incubation periods of the virus, he added, the trend could be immediately controlled.
"However, I understand that the government will not be able to bear the burden. In fact, if the health problems are resolved first, the government can revive the economy more quickly," he remarked.
Syahrizal added that the government's policy to restrict the community activity dubbed PPKM would not be effective since the infection has spread throughout the region and infected many people.
Indonesia's Covid-19 positivity rate has currently reached 20 percent. That means, he went on, many people who were infected were not traced and transmitted the virus to the surrounding community. "The micro-level quarantine that was implemented recently is too late. And there is no guarantee that they will carry it out properly."
The government enforced Micro PPKM in certain regions across Java and Bali from February 9 to 22, 2021.
Syahrizal suggested the government increase the tracing, testing, and isolation or treatment (3T) that were necessary to prevent further transmission of Covid-19. "The current tracing effort is still very low. If one person tested positive, 30 other people must be tested. Now, the number is less than five," the epidemiologist said, related to the lockdown.