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Communities must remain vigilant about Covid-19, even though PPKM is repealed

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By: Gita Oktaviani )*

The Implementation of Restricting Community Activities (PPKM), which has been a policy to reduce the transmission of Covid-19, has been officially repealed. However, the public must remain vigilant because the national Covid-19 emergency status has not yet ended.

It should be noted that Indonesia has two Covid-19 emergency statuses as stipulated in the Presidential Decree (Keppres) of the Republic of Indonesia. First, the Public Health Emergency Status signed by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on 31 March 2020. Second, the Status of Non-Natural Disasters as a National Disaster which was signed on 13 April 2020.

Of course, the revocation of the Covid-19 emergency status in Indonesia must await WHO (World Health Organization) directions. This is related to WHO which has not revoked the status of the Global Public Health Emergency Concern (PHEIC) Covid-19.

During a press conference at the State Palace in Jakarta, President Jokowi said that the emergency status would not be revoked because the pandemic had not ended completely. This pandemic is not per country, but worldwide. So that the health emergency status is maintained because it must follow the status of the PHEIC.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health (Kemenkes), Mohammad Syahril said, the Covid-19 pandemic was still ongoing even though the government had officially revoked PPKM. He also asked the public to remain vigilant, meaning that one day this pandemic could occur again with a new subvariant that triggers a spike in cases.

Syahril also stated the readiness of the Ministry of Health and his staff to start preparing infrastructure, human resources (HR), equipment and medicine if there is an increase in Covid-19 cases later. Of course, the hope is that there will not be another spike in cases.

On the same occasion, M Syahril also explained that the revocation of the PPKM status cannot be equated with the revocation of the health emergency status. Moreover, there are different stages to lift the emergency.

Previously, M Syahril also explained, referring to the statement by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus it was said that indeed signs of the end of the Covid-19 pandemic had appeared.

On a different occasion, the Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) Tito Karnavian emphasized that the revocation of PPKM does not mean that Covid-19 has ended. Tito explained that PPKM was a government intervention to limit community activities in order to prevent transmission.

Based on indicators that show the pandemic situation is improving, the government has also decided to revoke these indicators. Instead, the public needs to remain alert to the vulnerability of transmission because the pandemic has not yet been resolved at the world level.

Tito also reminded that the government must continue to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 by wearing a mask when in public places. People who experience symptoms of respiratory problems such as runny nose and cough are expected to continue to wear masks. Tito also gave instructions to regional heads to make every effort to prevent a spike in cases.

Governors, Regents and Mayors received instructions from the Minister of Home Affairs to strictly supervise and supervise the prevention and control of Covid-19 in their regions, including conducting an assessment of the Covid-19 indicators to assess the rate of transmission and response capacity.

In addition, the regional head as the regional head of the regional task force can also provide recommendations for crowd permits very selectively for any form of community activity/activities that can cause crowds while continuing to implement health protocols which are the basis for issuing permits from the police according to their level.

Governors, Regents and Mayors are also instructed to report on the handling, prevention and control of Covid-19 in their respective areas to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

This instruction takes effect from December 30 with the provision that when the instruction takes effect then the Minister of Home Affairs 50 of 2022 and the Minister of Home Affairs 51 of 2022 concerning PPKM, are declared no longer valid.

Meanwhile, Epidemiologist from the Faculty of Public Health, University of Indonesia, Iwan Ariawan, considered that the government’s step in revoking PPKM was the right decision.

Iwan agrees that the transmission of Covid-19 in Indonesia is under control based on a number of indicators, marked by a case rate below 1,000 and this month there has been no significant spike in cases, including hospitalization and death rates.

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