Antara, Jakarta – Increasing vaccination coverage is key for curbing the recent spike in the COVID-19 caseload in Indonesia, an epidemiologist has said.
"The key is increasing vaccination coverage as much and as quickly as possible, ranging from the administration of the first dose to the booster dose," stated Pandu Riono from the Medical School of the University of Indonesia (UI) in Jakarta on Saturday.
By increasing vaccination coverage, individual immunity can improve, he explained. "With high immunity rate in the community, the current hospitality and mortality rates can hopefully be lowered," he said.
In addition, the government also needs to keep disseminating information on the importance of complying with the health protocols.
"We must continue to remind the public about the importance of wearing masks, keeping physical distance, and washing hands so they are aware of the importance of health protocols," he said.
The spike in the COVID-19 caseload in the past three weeks can still be brought under control, he added.
"The COVID-19 case spike in Indonesia over the past three weeks is still controllable. What is important is increasing the vaccination coverage and implementing the health protocols," he said.
According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, weekly COVID-19 cases have shown an upward trend in recent weeks, with the number of positive cases rising to 2,385 from 1,814 on May 22, 2022.
Daily active cases have also increased by 10 percent to 3,433 from 3,105 on June 2.
Earlier, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin had said that the positivity rate and community transmission of COVID-19 in the country over the past three weeks is still relatively safe.
"Since the Indonesian community's immunity rate is still high based on the serosurvey (antibody survey) conducted in March 2022, the increase (in COVID-19 cases) is still safe," he said.
The positivity rate, or the proportion of positive COVID-19 cases among all people tested in Indonesia, is below five percent. "It is 1.15 percent nationwide. The highest is recorded in Jakarta at 3 percent," he noted.