Covid - 19 Developments, Responses and How to Overcome It in Indonesia
Indonesia is predicted to be the last country in the international to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis if there is no extraordinary strategic policy on health recovery, said an expert.
With almost half a year of the pandemic running, the policies the government has taken are more important by the political and economic compromises taken than health.
Conditions like this, said public policy observers, are feared to erode public trust in the government and could trigger protests.
But the government rejected that assumption and promised a state budget for health next year.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which has lasted for almost a year and a half, the Indonesian government has issued at least five policies.
Starting from the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) in March 2020, then the Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) starting January 2021.
Soon the government implemented Micro PPKM in the province which regulates it up to the RT/RW level. After that, it was replaced with Emergency PPKM in early July 2021 in the Java-Bali province due to the spike in infection cases after Lebaran.
After the end of the Emergency PPKM implementation period, the government extended it by making a new regulation, namely PPKM level 1 to 4 to 2 August.
Epidemiologist from Griffith University Australia, Dicky Budiman, assessed that all of Indonesia's pandemic policies were heavily influenced by political and economic compromises rather than health.
He gave an example of the government's insistence on holding simultaneous regional elections in December 2020 even though there were many visitors from health experts.
But always weak on 3T implementation (testing, forgetting, maintenance).
Until now, Indonesia is still struggling with a ratio of 1 to 1 in making close contact with Covid-19, far from the standard of the World Health Organization, WHO, of 1 to 30.
"In the first year the government underestimated the pandemic and the decisions taken were not based on science. In the second year, it wanted to walk on two legs, namely health and the economy but it was not balanced. Health was on a weak leg. Low testing, tracking it, carried out but very weak," said Dicky Budiman to Quin Pasaribu reported for BBC News Indonesia, Tuesday (27/07).
The policy, which is full of compromises, he said, had a big impact on the health sector. Indonesia is in the top position as the highest contributor of daily cases and deaths in the international in recent days.
Data from the Ministry of Health on Tuesday (27/07) stated that there were 45,203 additional cases of the Corona virus.
The death toll again recorded the highest record during the pandemic, namely 2,069.
"This is what Indonesia is facing because it has placed the wrong strategic choice from the start so that health problems have already grown. Inevitably we will see cases of death as a result of this compromise, a very large number of deaths."
Dicky predicts that Indonesia will be the last country in the international to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis if there is no "extraordinary strategic policy change".
Such as boosting testing and tracking of up to three million people a day, implementing regional quarantines, and accelerating vaccinations.
"It seems that Indonesia will be finished later from the pandemic crisis situation. This is not a comfortable estimate, but the current conditions are heading that way."
"Because Indonesia is not impossible to produce a new virus variant from the uncontrolled movement of people from other islands. The potential is great, as in the case of bird flu, super strains emerge."
"When the swine flu was also Indonesia, the last one to come out of the epidemic."
Public policy observer from the University of Indonesia, Zuliansyah, assessed that the government does not have a mature policy scenario even though the pandemic has been running for more than a year.
Policies that are often issued, he said, are taken without mitigation and often follow public opinion. For example, a paid individual vaccine which was eventually canceled due to public opposition.
"I am afraid that there is no policy scenario (pandemic) for the next two to three years. The government is still groping with the long-lasting pandemic and there is even a new wave of variants, I have not seen the economic and health policy scenario," added Zuliansyah to BBC News Indonesia. ."In fact, this scenario should have been owned by the government despite the unpredictable situation."
If this condition continues, said Zuliansyah, then he is worried that "the level of patience of the people" will explode, resulting in distrust of the government.
"People are getting tired of this condition. If it is not anticipated with various policy scenarios, I am afraid that there will be demonstrations like in other countries."
Executive Secretary I of the Committee for the Handling of Covid-19 and the National Economic Recovery (KPC-PEN), Raden Pardede, dismissed this assumption.
He said the government was faced with a difficult choice in making a pandemic policy.
"This is between life and livelihood. It's a difficult choice in this case the government decides on gas and brakes. But health issues are still the priority, not the economy," said Raden Pardede to BBC News Indonesia.
The government, he continued, would not be able to implement a regional quarantine policy due to a lack of funds.
Therefore, the current strategy that the government is pursuing is to accelerate vaccination while improving health care facilities and increasing the supply of medicines.
"To make them totally immobile, it's utopian. Ideally it would be, but we're not in an ideal state."
In addition, said Raden, the government is also boosting testing and tracking in areas with high infection rates.
For next year, the government plans to add funds for the health sector in the state budget.
"Next year's state budget is likely to be added to improve health facilities. Then how do we produce some vaccines domestically and encourage universities to stimulate research and development for vaccines and medicines."
"So hospital facilities, drugs, and vaccines must be repaired next year," he said.
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Covid - 19