The number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia has now surpassed the country that first reported cases of the coronavirus infection, China.

Based on Worldometers data, on Saturday (18/7/2020), the number of recorded Covid-19 cases in Indonesia cases was 84,882, above that of China which recorded 83,644 cases.

Meanwhile, on Sunday (19/7/2020), Indonesia reported an additional 1,639 new cases bringing the total to 86,521.

Meanwhile, data from John Hopkins University on Sunday showed Indonesia with 86,521 recorded cases, while China had 85,314 cases.

Griffith University epidemiologist Dicky Budiman said that despite higher cases of infection, the number of Covid-19 tests in Indonesia was far behind China.

In addition to low testing, Budiman also highlighted the high rate of confirmed cases, which averaged above 11 percent.

“The thing to be wary of is that even though (Indonesia’s) cases are relatively similar to China, our testing rate is much lower and confirmed cases rates are also high, averaging above 11 percent” Dicky said.

These conditions indicate that the actual infection rate is much higher than currently reported.

According to Budiman, the pattern of expansion of Covid-19 cases is also happening.

“Sooner or later it will lead to an increase in cases of greater pain and death” he explained.

Therefore, he hopes that the government will revise the control program in synergy at all levels of government by focusing on the elimination of cases or towards zero cases of Covid-19.

The reason for this is that the perception of equality in a shared vision is very important in the handling of the coronavirus.

According to Budiman, there are four main parties that contribute with one another’s effort to reduce the curve.

First, the government, by strengthening its test, tracing, and isolation strategies that refer to WHO targets.

“The government also needs to limit human interaction with the work from home (WFH) regulations and close schools” said Budiman.

Second, people must adhere to health protocols, namely wearing masks, maintaining distances and washing hands.

Third, scientists and academics must consistently provide science-based advice and warnings.

“Finally, the involvement of civil society is very important in its role as the initiator of ideas and strategic partners of the government in implementing the program” said Budiman.

In line with Budiman, University of Indonesia epidemiologist Pandu Riono said that the government must strengthen surveillance and ensure that people adhere to health protocols.

“Strengthen surveillance and make sure most of the population behaves appropriately” Pandu said when contacted separately on Sunday.

To ensure this, Pandu stressed the need to apply sanctions and large public (educational) campaigns.

“If there are rules (sanctions), please apply them. But the government’s obligation should be to educating the public” said Pandu.

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