Be Cautious of Increasing COVID-19 Cases in Some Countries, Minister of Health: Boost Vaccination
COVID-19 cases in some countries, such as Hongkong, South Korea, and UK have been increasing quite significantly due to Omicron BA.2. variant. The increasing case in Hongkong has also made impact to the high death rate of elderly people in particular. Therefore, the Government continue to boost vaccination, especially for the vulnerable group.
It is stated by Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin in his press statement after attending the Limited Cabinet Meeting on the Evaluation of Social Activities Restriction (PPKM) led by Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, on Monday (14/03) via video conference.
“The patients who passed away and got hospitalized all over the world, such as in Hongkong as we have seen in media, are mostly the elderly people and they had not been fully vaccinated. Therefore, we need to boost vaccination for the elderly people to protect them, at least they get fully vaccinated or receive the second dose, but ideally, they receive the third dose.
Budi explained that full vaccination rate for the elderly people in Hongkong is still very low which is at 26 percent. It is a very valuable lesson for Indonesia to hold down the COVID-19 death rate by keep boosting the vaccination, especially for the elderly people.
“To reduce the number of hospitalized patients and the dead rate is by ensuring the boosting of vaccination, especially for the elderly people, our parents, our grandparents aged above 60 years old because it has been proved that they are included in the category of very fragile population to get hospitalized and pass away. We need to reassure them to get vaccinated at least up to second dose, or ideally, up to the third dose,” he said.
Moreover, Minister of Health also reminds that the people should not be choosy about the vaccine brands because all available vaccine brands have been tested for its safety and efficacy.
“The boosting of vaccination will determine the hospitalization rate and the death rate. So, please get vaccinated as soon as possible, be it the first vaccination, the second one, or the third one, do not be choosy about the vaccine brand because all available vaccine brands have been tested for its efficacy by WHO,” he said.
By keep boosting the vaccination rate, Minister of Health hopes that the pandemic situation in the country can be controlled.
“Hopefully, if we the people committed to have the second dose vaccine, especially the elderly people, our condition will be better in the fasting month. This is also one of the conditions that we are going to evaluate and make decision concerning this year’s Ramadhan and Eid al-Fitr,” he said.
In relation to Omicron BA.2 variant, the Minister of Health expressed that based on the result of genome sequencing, this variant has been detected in Indonesia, but it does not show a rise in the COVID-19 case. The national trend, Budi added, has been consistently slowing down which is showed by the declining effective reproduction number (Rt) in every big island in Indonesia. The two provinces that still show increasing trend are North Kalimantan and East Nusa Tenggara.
“In the past two months, we have done 8,032 genome sequencings. Lately, indeed, the Omicron BA.2 variant has been dominant in Indonesia. Alhamdulillah, we do not see, and hopefully will never see again a rise in the number of the case,” he remarked. (MAY/UN)(AW/LW)