Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Tjandra Yoga Aditama, a professor from the University of Indonesia's School of Medicine (FKUI), opined that the declining trend in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia was due to strict social restrictions. He made the statement in response to the saying that the downward trend was attributable to public immunity against the virus.
"Immunity can surely be obtained naturally or from vaccines, but it is strict social restrictions that reduce the number of cases. This happens in other regions in the world," said Yoga in a virtual event held by YARSI University, Jakarta, Wednesday, September 15.
The COVID-19 Task Force reported that Indonesia's COVID-19 daily cases on Tuesday, September 14 increased by only 4,128. The figure was far below the highest peak of daily cases on June 16 that reached 54,000.
Tjandra cited an example, Wuhan, China – where SARS-CoV-2 was first detected – had managed to suppress a high spike in positive cases although at that time, there was no vaccine and no immunity because the virus had just been discovered. The success was thanks to lockdown or social restrictions.
"The health protocols of 3M or now 5M and 3T, as well as vaccination, clearly reduce cases. But actually, the health protocols are enough," said Tjandra who is Former Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Southeast Asia 2018-2020.
The health protocols of 3M mean wearing a face mask, washing hands, and maintaining distance, which is updated to 5M including staying away from crowds and limiting mobility and interaction. While 3T means testing, tracing, and treatment.
However, Tjandra underlined that immunity either obtained naturally or from the COVID-19 vaccine is still necessary in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.