BTV, Jakarta – The government signaled on Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic is on course to become endemic, in which the disease remains frequent but is limited to certain areas.
Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said there has been no drastic surge in new cases for nearly one year, prompting the government to consider putting an end to the years-long social and mobility restrictions.
"It's been over a year that [the number of new Covid cases] has reached a plateau. According to the WHO criteria, when the current situation lasts for 12 months, what happens now is endemic," Airlangga said after a cabinet meeting led by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace in Jakarta.
The president has previously suggested that all restrictions can be lifted soon and last week the government decided to close down the largest Covid-19 hospital with a capacity of 3,000 beds in the capital city.
However, Airlangga said the government is still waiting for results from the ongoing assessment of the pandemic and indicated that the plan to completely end social restrictions won't be materialized until next month.
"The assessment will be delivered in the third week of January. So let's wait until that day," said Airlangga, who also heads the government's Covid-19 handling and economic recovery program.
Indonesia has recorded 6.7 million Covid cases and more than 160,500 deaths since the pandemic began.