An elder man gets his Covid-19 jab in Cipulir, Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta on April 27, 2021. (B1 Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)

Public Support Crucial to Combating the Pandemic

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021

Jakarta. The government has reminded the Indonesian public to support efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic by complying with the health protocols and getting vaccinated despite the falling number of Covid-19 cases in the country. 

According to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, the world has topped 223 million Covid-19 cases, with more than 4.6 million deaths. The number of new cases has only just been relatively stable in the past month. 

World Health Organization (WHO) regions Africa, Southeast Asia, and the East Mediterranean are witnessing a downtrend. At the same time, the Americas region is facing an uptrend.

"Thank God, Indonesia is among the countries with a continuous downward trend," Retno said in a statement over the weekend.

In the past few days, the national positivity rate had been under the 5 percent threshold set by the WHO. The positivity rate exceeded 31 percent back in July 2021.

Quoting the WHO director-general, Retno said a decoupling between the case increases and fatality rate in several highly vaccinated countries.

"So even if a Covid-19 surge occurs, it will not be followed by a rise in bed occupancy rate and fatality rate. This proves that vaccine works," Retno said.

There are still many obstacles that Indonesia has to face before winning the fight against Covid-19.

According to the diplomat, Indonesia will continue its vaccine diplomacy to secure its doses while also calling for global vaccine equity.

"The support of the Indonesian people by getting the vaccine and complying with the protocols is very much needed. Let's get vaccinated and follow the health protocols," she said.

"If God wills, with all our joint efforts and hard work, discipline, and unity, we can get out of the pandemic."

Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono warned there should be no room for complacency despite the decline in active cases, fatalities, and a robust vaccination drive. 

"Our neighboring countries such as Malaysia, India, and Singapore are witnessing case resurgences due to health protocol violations," Dante said.

According to Dante, the community restrictions currently are in place is to keep Covid-19 resurgence at bay.

The public must strictly observe the health protocols and get their Covid-19 jabs. They must also not be picky about which vaccine to get, as the best vaccines are currently available.

"And tens of thousands of children have lost their parents to Covid-19. Parents who refuse to get vaccinated mean they don't love their kids," Dante added.

He also urged regional governments to develop new ways to boost the vaccine rollout for vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those with comorbidities. The elderly Covid-19 vaccination is still lagging compared to other groups.

Dante also hoped for support from everyone to ensure that no one gets left behind in the vaccination program. And once again, do not hesitate to get vaccinated and follow the Covid-19 protocol guidelines.

"If God wills and with joint efforts by everyone, we can overcome this pandemic," he said.

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