Syailendra Persada, Koran Tempo, Jakarta – An epidemiologist from Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, asked the government to extend the enforcement of the emergency state of public mobility restrictions or Emergency PPKM.
Although the implementation was not ideal, he opined, this policy should be applied as an effort to suppress cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
"[It should be applied for] six weeks at minimum, or eight weeks if possible," said Dicky as quoted from Koran Tempo's edition of Friday, July 16.
He said 60 percent of confirmed cases in Indonesia were dominated by this variant which was first identified in India. The Delta variant is highly infectious and spreads very fast, Dicky said.
The variant, he added, also causes more severe illnesses which could lead to serious conditions and many deaths if not taken seriously.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan acknowledged that the variant dominated Covid-19 cases in the archipelago. "Almost all cases in Java are the Delta variant. What's clear is that the Delta variant spreads faster," he said at a virtual press conference on Thursday.
Luhut explained that a number of countries were also facing the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant, such as the UK, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Russia. "We must understand that this Delta variant is a variant that cannot be controlled," he said.