COVID-19 in Indonesia: Where Are We?

Iwan Ariawan, Hafizah Jusril


Since the 1st case officially confirmed on the last March 2020, Indonesia recorded more than 1000 new cases daily. The national trend shows no sign of decrease as 19 September 2020 the report sets a new mark of 4000 new cases in a day. The concept of controlling disease transmission relies on contacts suppression; and on the longer end, relies on vaccinations. As 27 September 2020, no vaccine is approved for use in the general population. Until then, countries should implement early, widespread, and strict disease mitigation strategies. While much remains to be learned on COVID-19, global evidence assert at least three strategies at the population level contributes to flatten the curve: mobility restriction, testing and isolation and rigorous contact-tracing.

Indonesia is not on entire absences of actions, but the epidemic calls for more. The central government called for social distancing two weeks after the first case confirmed and regulation on the large scale social distancing (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar/ PSBB) that restrict non-essential population mobility is enacted by April 2020. Recent evidence outlines test, tracing and isolation are effective in suppressing COVID-19 transmission. Minimizing testing and tracing delay, less than four days with coverage of 80% close contacts could prevent and reduce onwards transmission.

That we need to more is indisputable. The vaccine is not a magic bullet; it is a long-term control measure and should be a complete series of careful and precise examinations. Indonesia will also likely require high coverage of vaccination to achieve herd immunity. At present, if there is no significant improvement in the coverage of preventive measures in the population and disease surveillance system, our hospital will be overwhelmed, and case fatality will be devastating.


COVID-19; Indonesia; health system; test; tracing; treatment; mobility restriction


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