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Transmission of Omicron Variant in Indonesia Enters a New Stage

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The spread of the Sars-Cov2 corona virus that causes Covid-19 of the Omicron variant in Indonesia enters a new phase. On Saturday (22/1), The Ministry of Health announced two Covid-19 patients infected with the Omicron variant died. This is the first time an Omicron case patient has died in Indonesia. According to Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, both patients who died suffered from comorbidities. One case was a local transmission, and another one was an overseas traveler. They died in different hospitals.

The Omicron variant, although it is said to be lighter than the previous variants, is still fatal for certain people. The transmission no longer comes from people who have just arrived from abroad. Local transmission has also occurred. Thus, the spread of the Omicron variant cannot be underestimated. Seeing these developments, some epidemiologists ask the government to improve vigilance and make arrangements that are in accordance with the current development of the pandemic.

Indeed, various efforts have been made by the government to anticipate the spread of Omicron, such as intensifying testing, tracing and treatment or 3T, especially in Java and Bali. The government has also enhanced the tracing ratio, ensured the availability of centralized isolation rooms, intensified access to telemedicine and increased the bed ratio for handling Covid-19 in hospitals. /Meanwhile, third or booster vaccinations are also being intensified.

Several epidemiologists suggested the government review the level 2 of Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions in Java and Bali. They also suggested canceling off-line seasons in schools, and returning to online learning.

On one hand, the government is required to immediately take mitigation actions in a bid to prevent the fall of many victims. But on the other hand, people must also take precautions for their own safety. Strict health protocols must continue to be carried out by wearing masks, keeping a distance, and avoiding crowds. Vaccination must also be encouraged; both the third stage (booster) as well as the first and second vaccinations for those who have not received. Thus, mitigation efforts are carried out by all parties. Last year, Indonesian people experienced the bad consequences of the widespread transmission of Covid-19. This experience is expected not to reoccur.

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