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The Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, the public is urged to apply health protocols

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By: Ridwan Alamsyah)*

The Health Protocol (prokes) still has to be enforced, this is because the status of the pandemic has not ended and the number of cases of Covid-19 is still being found in several parts of Indonesia.

The government has reported new cases of Corona (Covid-19) where there have been additional cases in various regions. In fact, the Government has also informed that the Omicron XBB Subvariant has entered Indonesia. The emergence of new subvariants and the addition of cases indicate that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, so people are still encouraged to continue to apply health protocols such as wearing masks, maintaining distance and washing hands with soap/handsanitizer.

            Of course, with the increase in cases in some areas in Indonesia, this is an important alarm for all people not to forget that until now Indonesia is still in a pandemic situation. So that the implementation of health protocols and vaccinations is still an important instrument for preventing the transmission of the corona virus.

            Knowing this condition, the Covid-19 Task Force issued SE Number 20/2022 as a form of prevention and control. This Circular will regulate health protocols for large-scale domestic/international activities with 1,000 participants or more physically present or when country representatives are involved.

            The following are points of health protocol provisions on the implementation of large-scale activities contained in SE Number 20/2022, including:

  1. Obligation of vaccination for participants, children aged 6-17 years must have two doses of vaccination, while adolescents aged 18 years must carry out a third or booster vaccine.
  2. Specific Screening, for activities involving ministerial-level officials and above (VVIP) must require a 2X24 hour negative PCR result. For multilateral forum activities that do not involve VVIP, they are required to have a symptom examination procedure and are advised to require an antigen swab examination.

Meanwhile, for activities that are not multilateral forums and do not involve VVIP, they are required to have a procedure for checking symptoms and testing for antigens for Covid-19 suspects.

Organizers must obtain recommendations for the feasibility of implementing health protocols from the central Covid-19 Task Force and permits for crowds of community activities from the Police, and must meet the criteria for health protocols.        

With the implementation of various provisions of the health protocol, it is hoped that it will have an impact on reducing the number of active Covid-19 cases in Indonesia.

            Health protocols must still be implemented, for example the use of masks. The public must also have awareness to use masks when outside the home or when in a crowd. The effectiveness of the use of masks to prevent transmission has also been proven in clinical trials by the British market research firm Yougov, a team from the Miyazawa Clinic in Hyogo and the University of Houston-Victoria have collected data through computer models to find out how various factors affect the death rate from Covid-19 in various countries. As a result, the use of face masks is the most significant way to reduce the risk of death from Covid-19.

Another study by researchers from the California Institute of Technology this month also rated face masks as the most effective way to prevent human-to-human transmission of the virus.

The use of masks and the application of maintaining a minimum distance of 1 meter are also considered effective in blocking droplets which are the media for transmission of the corona virus.

            The trial of the effectiveness of masks was proven by a researcher from Providende Sacred Heart Medical Center, United States (US), Rich Davis, Davis proved it through demonstrations with petri dishes. The demonstration is divided into 2 simple ways. That is by wearing a mask and not wearing a mask.

            Davis was recorded coughing 2 times, talking for 60 seconds, and singing for 60 seconds facing a petri dish that is 0.5 meters away. Then the petri dish was allowed to stand for 24 hours. The results showed that there were more bacterial colonies in the group dish that did not use a mask.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, warned young people that a pandemic might occur in the future.      

The Covid-19 pandemic is a natural disaster that has caused the death of many people. That is why the government warns young people to fully understand the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. So that when it happens in the future it will not cause many victims or deaths due to Covid-19.

Recently, crowds have begun to be permitted, school and lecture activities have also begun to be carried out offline, culinary entrepreneurs such as cafes are also not subject to eating time limits or operating hours restrictions. However, people must remain vigilant and continue to wear masks when in crowds.

The health protocol, of course, does not aim to limit activity, but this policy is made so that the pandemic status can end soon.

Health protocols are still a weapon to end the pandemic, so compliance with these regulations must be implemented so that the situation in Indonesia can truly return to normal.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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