Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan revealed that the policy of implementing Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) per level in Java and Bali had a good impact on pandemic conditions in the country. Luhut explained, the trend of positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationally fell to 93.9 percent. Even in Java and Bali, there has been a decline in corona cases by up to 96 percent from the peak point of cases in Indonesia on July 15.
In addition, the number of active COVID-19 cases as of September 13 has fallen below 100 thousand. Even so, Luhut emphasized that as long as the pandemic status was still in effect, the PPKM policy would continue to be extended by the government.
“When will PPKM per level in Java and Bali continue to be implemented? The government emphasized that it would continue to apply PPKM level in all areas of Java and Bali, and outside Java and Bali as well, as well as carry out evaluations every week, so as to reduce the number of confirmed cases and not repeat the same incident in the future. So this PPKM is our tool to monitor this, because if it is released it is not controlled and there will be another wave later. We have seen experiences in various countries, so we don’t want to repeat mistakes made in other countries,” Luhut said in a press teleconference in Jakarta, Monday (13/9).
As the pandemic situation continues to improve, the government, Luhut said, has made various easing, namely opening cinemas with a maximum capacity of 50 percent in areas that apply PPKM levels 2 and 3, accompanied by the use of the PeduliLindung application and the application of strict health protocols. In addition, the government also encourages increased compliance with the use of PeduliLindung in industrial locations that have not used the application to its full potential.
In this easing, the government, said Luhut, also added tourist sites that are allowed to operate in level 3 districts/cities, accompanied by the implementation of PeduliLindung and the implementation of strict health protocols. Especially for these tourist attractions, his party also enforces an odd-even policy from Friday at 12.00 local time to Sunday at 18.00 local time, which aims to prevent the number of visitors from booming.
“We will also tighten international travel, namely mandatory full vaccination, PCR three times, quarantine for eight days and restrictions on entrances for ease of supervision. So the air entrance is only from Cengkareng, and Manado. Meanwhile, we are considering Bali to be able to walk, but we will see in the next 1-2 weeks,” said Luhut.
Loose Start Proces
The decline in COVID-19 cases in Java and Bali, which was faster than expected, said Luhut, was unfortunately not accompanied by an acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccination program that was evenly distributed throughout Indonesia, the implementation of the PeduliLindung application in six sectors of community activity and health protocols that were starting to loosen. due to excessive public euphoria. According to him, this is quite dangerous because of the potential for a third wave of COVID-19.
“In some areas there has been a fairly massive increase in mobility, especially in several Pangandaran beach tourist locations, which are filled with visitors from Greater Bandung, Tasikmalaya, and Jabotabek so there is the potential for the spread of imported cases to these areas. This is exacerbated by the weak prokes implemented. So prokes are very important, but there are still many violations,” he said.
Regarding vaccination, data from the Ministry of Health states that there are 41 million doses of vaccine stock in areas that have not been injected. Luhut also regretted this, given the enthusiasm of the community to get the COVID-19 vaccination which was quite large. Therefore, the government will include vaccination as an additional requirement for reducing PPKM levels in the regions. He explained, for regions that apply PPKM level 3 it can go down to level 2 with vaccination coverage of dose 1 must reach 50 percent, and vaccination coverage for the elderly must reach 40 percent.
Meanwhile, for regions that apply PPKM level 2, to be able to go down to level 1 the coverage of the first dose of vaccination must reach 70 percent, and the vaccination coverage for the elderly must be able to reach the level of 60 percent.
“Achieving the vaccination coverage target mentioned above is very important considering it has been proven to protect us from serious illness that requires hospital treatment or death, especially the elderly. Therefore, a high vaccination target is one of the main keys in the phase of living with COVID-19,” he said.
PPKM Per Level Outside Java and Bali
Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto explained that the implementation of the PPKM extension per level outside Java and Bali lasted for two weeks.
“The PPKM outside Java and Bali is still in effect for two weeks, meaning an extension from September 7 to September 20, 2021, but we evaluate every week,” said Airlangga.
Airlangga explained, as of September 12, the contribution of active COVID-19 cases outside Java and Bali to national cases was recorded at 59.46 percent. Even so, the trend of decreasing active cases of corona also occurred outside Java and Bali, including Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua.
That way, when viewed from the provincial level, currently there are no provinces outside Java and Bali that have PPKM level 4. Then level 3 applies to 16 provinces, and level 2 applies to 11 provinces. However, the government still applies PPKM level 4 for 6 districts/cities because there are still many indicators that still need to be improved. Then 16 districts/cities have PPKM level 3 status, and one district/city implements PPKM level 2.
Beware of New Variants
On the same occasion, the Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said that the government would remain vigilant about the various new variants of the corona virus that emerged in various countries. This is because the delta variant has caused an exponential spike in cases in Indonesia and several other countries. His party is currently monitoring three variants, namely Lamda, Mu and C.1.2 so that they do not enter Indonesia.
“These three variants are currently under research on how they behave, the rate of transmission, and whether they can avoid naturally occurring antibodies or vaccinations and until now there has been no definite research result, but these three variants do not yet exist in Indonesia. Therefore, the government has decided to strengthen all the country’s entrances by completing and tightening the quarantine process there, whether entry is by air, sea or land,” said Budi.
The Ministry of Health, said Budi, will also strengthen the laboratory network whole genome sequencing (WGS) in order to quickly identify the various new variants of the corona virus. To date, there are 21 laboratory networks in Indonesia that are sophisticated in nature to be able to detect this new variant with an examination capacity that is much larger than before.
“Every month we are able to do 1,866 genome sequencing so that in total we have done since January-August there are 6,161 genome sequencing compared to last year, one year we only did 340 genome sequencing,” he said. [gi/ab]