‘Indonesia’s Positivity Rate Has Fulfilled WHO Standards, Really?

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the COVID-19 pandemic condition in the country continued to improve. This, he said, was reflected in the positive confirmed cases of COVID-19, which based on indicators from the World Health Organization (WHO) had entered level 1, which is below 20 confirmed cases per 100,000 population per week.

“Three indicators of the response capacity of one country to this pandemic have decreased quite drastically. Positivity rate-has reached the WHO normal limit below five percent, tracingIt’s also much better, now it’s approaching the WHO standard, which is above 15. Then, the hospital BOR has returned to its normal point of 17.14 percent,” said Budi in a Hearing Meeting with Commission IX of the Indonesian House of Representatives some time ago. .

Budi explained, positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in many provinces had entered the normal category or level 1. Only a few provinces were recorded to still have relatively high positive confirmation cases, such as Bangka Belitung, East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan. Several provinces, according to him, still recorded a high trend of hospitalization, including the Riau Islands, Aceh, North Kalimantan, Bangka Belitung, North Sumatra and Central Sulawesi.

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin in a meeting with Commission IX DPR RI in Jakarta, Wednesday (25/8).(Mouab)

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin in a meeting with Commission IX DPR RI in Jakarta, Wednesday (25/8).(Mouab)

“For the death rate, most of them have entered the normal level, the ones that are still high are Aceh, Riau, Bangka Belitung, Central Sulawesi, Bali, Jogjakarta, North Kalimantan and East Kalimantan,” he said.

Strategy to Strengthen the COVID-19 Pandemic

In order to maintain this improved pandemic condition, the government will continue to maintain four main strategies, namely health protocols; detection (which includes testing, tracing and isolation); vaccination; and care or theurapetic.

His party also remains aware of various mutations of the corona virus that have the potential to cause a third wave. Learning from the spread of the delta variant which causes an exponential increase in cases, the government will tighten the entrance to Indonesia and strengthen the surveillance genomic to detect early the presence of the new variant. The Ministry of Health, he said, is currently observing three new variants (Lamda, Mu and C.1.2) and trying to prevent these variants from entering the country.

Mass vaccination with Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine at the Surabaya zoo, September 13, 2021. (Photo: JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP)

Mass vaccination with Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Surabaya zoo, September 13, 2021. (Photo: JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP)

“Therefore, it is important for us to keep border we, the border, the international entrance, tighten the name entry and exit test, and includes discipline in the quarantine process. What needs to be guarded is, we can see yesterday’s delta entrance, we conceded a bit because we forgot to guard from the sea side, so that many ships carrying goods entered Indonesia from India, their crews were allowed to disembark at the time of landing so that they were infectious. If we look at it, from the side of the air inlet, the test is relatively better, so entry testit’s done better,” he explained.

Decreased Positivity Rate Amid Lack of Testing

Epidemiologist from Australia’s Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, does not deny the tightening policies carried out by the government such as the implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) per level have an impact on reducing positive corona cases in the country.

Griffith University Epidemiologist, Australia, Dicky Budiman, in the screenshot.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi Sucahyo)

Griffith University Epidemiologist, Australia, Dicky Budiman, in the screenshot. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi Sucahyo)

However, according to him, the intervention in the form of testing, tracing and isolation needs to be strengthened throughout the province to the district/city level. He saw that the intervention in many areas was still weak.

He also questioned the claim positivity rate below five percent, considering the number of PCR tests in Indonesia is still relatively low. He also doubted the claim because the death rate due to corona in Indonesia was still the highest in ASEAN, which was 4.4 percent.

Based on his records, on August 22, the government carried out 31,000 PCR tests and positivity rate detected is 26 percent; On September 1, the government conducted 38 thousand tests and positivity rate detected was 18 percent on September 10, the government carried out 39 thousand PCR tests and positivity rate read is 9.5 percent.

“And even one day after it drastically decreased again to 3.5 percent with testing which also did not increase, namely 40 thousand PCR tests. Now, September 12th, his PCR test has dropped to 37k and positivity rateis 8.3 percent. The logic is this because all of this must be explained scientifically, without any intervention testing, tracing adequate, especially in strong quarantine isolation, the decrease positivity rate this will be weak and even dangerous, because it can be fake,” he told Mouab.

According to Dicky, the coverage of COVID-19 vaccination is also not evenly distributed throughout Indonesia, both for the first and second doses, especially for the elderly. Dicky said the government needed to find out the problems in every remote area in the country, so that the improvement in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia could be evenly distributed and maintained.

“So this good national data must be seen because the contribution could be from Jabodetabek which is good, so far the good ones are the majority from there. If it is lowered again to the provinces and then to these districts/cities, it will be more visible. safe, because apart from that this is in the middle testing which is low, also this goes up and down. So it must be consistent for at least two weeks supported by adequate testing. So yes, it can be called still gray,” he concluded. [gi/ab]

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