By: Namira Eka Saraswati
Discipline of health protocols and vaccinations is the key to dealing with the new subvariance of Covid-19. This must continue to be done so that people are not caught off guard in the midst of the Covid-19 situation in the country which is slowly subsiding.
Public Health Expert Hermawan Saputra said while the World Health Organization (WHO) had not revoked the COVID-19 pandemic status, all countries should remain vigilant about the threat of the disease. Hermawan added that the government should continue to intensively remind the public to comply with health protocols and carry out vaccinations for the safety of themselves and others during the pandemic.
The importance of complying with health protocols and carrying out vaccinations must be carried out because there has been an increase in active cases of Covid-19 over the past three weeks. According to the Minister of Health (Menkes) Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the increase in active cases was due to the Eid holiday, and the emergence of new variants.
The Minister of Health explained that historically the increase in active cases did not occur three days after Hari Raya, but there was an increase between 27 and 35 days after the Great Holiday. This increase is normal, but due to the new subvariants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 which are more rapidly transmitted, it is feared that there will be an increase in active cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia.
Spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Health Muhammad Syahril explained that at the global level, the BA.4 subvariance has been reported as many as 6,903 cases from 58 countries, and the BA.5 subvariance has been reported to have reached 8,687 cases from 63 countries. Syahril added that this type of subvariance spread quite quickly, but the severity was not too severe. The severity of this variant is lighter than the previous omicron variant.
The increase in active cases of Covid-19 after religious holidays is predictable. The increase in active cases is still at a safe level. The increase in the positivity rate at the national level was at 1.15% after the previous case of the positivity rate in Indonesia was around 0.5%-0.8%.
Epidemiologist from the Faculty of Public Health, University of Indonesia (FKM UI) Pandu Riono said that increasing complete vaccination coverage as much as possible and as soon as possible could be one way to prevent an increase in active cases of Covid-19. Pandu added that by increasing vaccination coverage, it will increase immunity and optimal protection for each individual, because high immunity in the community can reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid-19.
The way the Covid-19 vaccine works in the body in order to increase immunity is by increasing the immune system, where the vaccine can fight infection efficiently by activating the body’s response to certain diseases. In addition, vaccines are also useful as a reminder for the body, which in the future if the body is attacked by a virus, the body will automatically protect itself.
Socialization regarding the importance of wearing masks should be re-encouragement. The implementation of other health protocols such as maintaining distance and washing hands must also be improved so that people are not careless about Covid-19.
Mutations of this virus is something that can not be predicted. The government and society must remain prepared to deal with it. With the emergence of this new subvariant of Covid-19, all parties must play an important role in fighting it.
Getting a complete vaccination while maintaining health protocols is our way to avoid the new subvariant of Covid-19. Inviting our families and the environment to prepare for the new threat of Covid-19 is a form of our concern so that this pandemic ends soon.
*) The author is a contributor to the Pertiwi Institute