Reisa Broto Asmoro, the government's Covid-19 handling spokeswoman and new habits adaptation ambassador. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Make 2022 the Last Year of Indonesia’s Pandemic Fight: Dr. Reisa

NOVEMBER 21, 2021

Jakarta. Reisa Broto Asmoro —the government's Covid-19 handling spokeswoman and new habits adaptation ambassador— recently asked the public to make 2022 the last year of Indonesia's pandemic fight.

The people can contribute to ending the pandemic by supporting the national vaccination campaign. As well as helping prevent a third wave of Covid-19 infections from emerging during the year-end holiday season.

Vaccination acceleration and distribution remain among the government's major focuses in the fight against Covid-19. The government continues to ensure the national vaccine supply, while also encouraging people to get vaccinated to meet the 70-percent vaccination target by the end of 2021.

According to Reisa, Indonesia is able to administer two million doses a day, thanks to the public enthusiasm for the vaccine.

"As of today, we have administered more than 220 million shots. We have even surpassed the World Health Organization [WHO] target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of our population by the end of this year," Reisa said on Friday.

Even so, Indonesia still needs to catch up in vaccinating its most vulnerable population, namely the senior citizens, people with comorbidities or disabilities, pregnant women, as well as children.

Reisa called all of the 88 million fully vaccinated people to encourage 45 million others, who have only received the first dose, to complete their vaccination course.

"But most importantly, these 88 million and 45 million [people] should make sure that the other 74 targeted million people. who have not yet been vaccinated, get their rights. Only together can we end this pandemic," Reisa said.

It is not booster shots that should be sought, but a booster or tool to ramp up herd immunity, according to Reisa.

"As stated by the Health Minister, if 70 percent of the targeted vaccine recipients have received complete doses, Indonesia will start vaccinating children aged 6-11 years old," she said.

Reisa also advised the public to keep their guards up as the year-end holiday season approaches to prevent a third pandemic wave.

"It is proven how unrestricted people's mobility during the holidays can lead to a rise in cases," she said, while adding that this occurred during last year's holiday season and this Eid.

Recent data reported that there are similar trends. Google Mobility Index data on November 15 showed an increase in mobility to recreational locations or tourist attractions. As well as visits to residential areas.

"In the context of the level 1 public community restriction [PPKM], there is certainly nothing wrong with this fact," Reisa said.

"However, this is incredibly dangerous, if we consider how the virus is still mutating and a vaccination coverage that has not reached 100 percent. [Not to mention] the possible decline in health protocol compliance."

Reisa revealed that restaurants, tourist attractions, and settlements had the lowest mask adherence. 

She highlighted the need for a health protocol taskforce at the tourist attraction. Staffs must also be highly aware of the visitors' safety.

Among others by ensuring full use of the Covid-19 tracking app PeduliLindungi and preventing crowds. As well as assigning a staff in each ride to constantly remind the visitors the health protocols.

"We should not forget to adapt to the new [habits] just because the situation is improving,"  Reisa warned.

The government is planning to impose mobility restrictions to prevent a Covid-19 third wave, with several crowd-attracting activities proposed to be banned. This includes both indoor and outdoor New Year's Eve events, fireworks, parades, year-end celebrations at malls. As well as cultural arts and sports activities.

It will also tighten and monitor health protocols in a number of locations, particularly in churches during Christmas celebrations, shopping centers, schools, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

"2022 will mark our third year of the pandemic. Let us make it our last year of the pandemic. Let us show once again solid collaboration, strong gotong royong ['mutual cooperation'], great solidarity, to prevent the third pandemic wave," Reisa said.  

"By giving all our efforts, by holding a successful G20 presidency, by remaining as one of the world's highest in vaccinating its population, by being one of the most disciplined in health protocols and getting used to the new habits adaptation — let us all restore health and revive the economy."

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