M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from Griffith University Dicky Budiman doubted that the national Covid-19 vaccination program has decreased the trend in new positive cases. He argued that the number of people who have been inoculated has not affected virus transmission yet.
"Our vaccination rate is still at 1 to 2 percent, so it has not had a significant impact yet on reducing positive cases," said Dicky to Tempo on Tuesday, March 16.
As of Saturday, March 13, 1.4 million have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, while there were only 3.9 million people who have received the first shots. Dicky said the percentage of vaccinated people per the total population is still low, compared to that in the United States and Israel.
The downward trend in Covid-19 cases, he explained, could be attributable to many factors. In Indonesia, it occurred due to poor testing and tracing capacity. "It becomes a big question when the number of cases declines due to lack of tracing," Dicky added.
According to him, the downward trend should be addressed carefully given the country's low testing capacity per the population. "We have not carried out over 100,000 tests a day even though the situation requires so."
Additionally, the epidemiologist highlighted different reports of positive cases and deaths issued by the central and regional governments.
"I'm not confident enough [about the downward trend]. Even though I'm glad, I'm not confident of it because interventions in the basic aspects have not been optimal yet. So for this downward trend in Covid-19 cases, there may be many factors that must be reviewed," Dicky said.