Mask-Wearing Policy Relaxation to Gradually Shift from Pandemic to Endemic: Minister
Following improvements in COVID-19 situation in Indonesia, the Government has decided that it will relax mandatory face masks on outdoor activities and lift obligation to show a negative result of COVID-19 test for fully-vaccinated domestic and international travelers before the departure.
Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Tuesday (05/17), said that the policy is adopted as a transition process from pandemic to endemic. The transition was made gradually by taking into account the people’s immunity against COVID-19 including the latest variant, namely Omicron BA2.
“In fact, BA2 variant is largely found in Indonesia and India. However, we don’t see any significant increase in the number of cases unlike the condition in China and the United States. Thus, immunity of the people in Indonesia and India was developed against the new variant,” he said.
He went on to say that sero surveys on the people ahead of this year’s Eid al-Fitr, which is conducted to check for the presence of antibodies among the population, highlighted that 99.2 percent of the respondents have strong antibodies developed either from the COVID-19 vaccine or infection. The results showed significant increase in antibody titer compared to that of December last year.
In addition to scientific data, the transition is also supported by condition of the people who are more aware of their responsibilities to maintain their health and protect themselves and others from the infection of COVID-19.
“In the future, the transmission of COVID-19 will get completely under control. The number of hospitalization will decline, public awareness to maintain their health will increase, so we can gradually relax other restrictions and back to normal,” he added. (FID/UN) (RAS/MMB)