Because thespreads quick in Indonesia, consultants consider that the nation will turn out to be Asia’s new epicenter. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has been criticized for not implementing a nationwide lockdown.
But such measures wouldn’t be a silver bullet to include COVID-19, the illness attributable to the novel coronavirus. Different international locations corresponding to South Korea and Taiwan have flattened the curve whereas holding companies and colleges open. Indonesia has rather a lot to be taught from these two international locations on learn how to include the virus with out locking down the entire nation.
South Korea Exhibits the Means Ahead for Put up-Pandemic Restoration
On the time of publishing, there have been over 12,000 confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 in Indonesia and 870 deaths. Given the shortage of widespread testing in a rustic with a inhabitants of 267 million, it’s probably that the precise variety of circumstances is much larger than this. In accordance with a examine by the College of Indonesia, there might be 1.5 million folks contaminated and 140,000 deaths by the tip of Might.
Response to COVID-19
The Indonesian authorities’s response to the disaster has been lackluster. Firstly of the outbreak, Well being Minister Terawan Agus Putranto famously mentioned that Indonesians are resistant to COVID-19 on account of their prayers. He additionally publicly dismissed a report by Harvard researchers that projected an infection charges in Indonesia. Equally, Jokowi intentionally misinformed the general public early on to forestall them from panicking.
Prior to now a number of weeks, the federal government has elevated its containment measures. Jokowi has established a COVID-19 activity drive and declared a nationwide emergency. Nonetheless, consultants consider that Indonesia remains to be behind the curve.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Well being Group, has additionally urged Jokowi to scale up Indonesia’s COVID-19 response mechanisms. Others consider that the nation should implement a nationwide lockdown as a substitute of solely a partial one. However Jokowi maintains that that is off the desk as he believes there are financial, social, political and safety facets that should be thought-about.
Certainly, in international locations with restricted sources like Indonesia, a complete lockdown may have devastating penalties corresponding to mass poverty and social unrest. In some elements of Africa, lockdowns have contributed to an increase in violence and starvation.
Alternatively, Indonesia can be taught from
South Korea and Taiwan as these two international locations have efficiently contained the coronavirus
with out implementing a nationwide lockdown. To this point, each international locations have
regularly eliminated a number of the social distancing measures because the variety of new infections
In South Korea, the an infection fee has decreased from greater than 900 circumstances a day to simply beneath 10 circumstances per day. French President Emmanuel Macron and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have each contacted South Korea’s president, Moon Jae In, to hunt recommendation on learn how to fight the virus.
Equally, regardless of its shut proximity to China (130 kilometers away), Taiwan has successfully managed the outbreak with out drastic restrictions. In 2019, 2.71 million Chinese language guests traveled to Taiwan and, as of January, there have been dozens of flights between Wuhan — the Chinese language metropolis the place COVID-19 first emerged — and Taipei each week. But on the time of publishing, Taiwan solely has 438 confirmed circumstances of COVID-19.
From South Korea and Taiwan
There are some key rules that
Indonesia can emulate from South Korea and Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus
First, Indonesia should decide to open and clear communication. Officers in each South Korea and Taiwan maintain each day media briefings to offer the general public with well timed, correct and easy updates concerning the outbreak. Open and clear communication can improve public engagement, stop misinformation and cease folks from panicking. As South Korea’s Vice Well being Minister Kim Gang-Lip recommended, “public participation should be secured by way of openness and transparency.”
Second, Indonesia ought to incorporate superior know-how into its containment efforts. In South Korea, the federal government deployed a smartphone app to trace the actions of those that have been ordered to self-quarantine. Moreover, vacationers from China are required to obtain a self-diagnosis app to report their well being situations to the federal government.
In Taiwan, the federal government makes use of an “digital fence” that makes use of cell phone alerts
to trace people who find themselves ordered to self-isolate. To make sure compliance,
officers obtain an alert when cellphones are turned off for greater than 15
minutes. The federal government additionally built-in databases owned by the Nationwide Well being
Insurance coverage Administration, Nationwide Immigration Company and the Customs
Administration to watch folks’s journey and medical historical past. As greater than 70%
of Indonesians have entry to the web by way of cellphones, the usage of
superior know-how can considerably enhance the federal government’s containment
Lastly, Indonesia should enhance its testing capability. The nation has one of many lowest testing charges on the planet at 444 checks per 1 million folks, in contrast with 12,488 in South Korea and a couple of,727 in Taiwan. Though Jokowi has repeatedly known as for extra testing, it stays to be seen whether or not or not Indonesia can increase its capability. Widespread testing would offer dependable knowledge to tell decision-making and allow the federal government to establish an infection hotspots.
For Indonesia, a complete lockdown may
certainly have cataclysmic social and financial penalties. The nation certainly
wants another strategy. Open and clear communication with the
public, mixed with widespread testing and the usage of superior know-how
just like what South Korea and Taiwan have demonstrated, may also help Indonesia
handle the pandemic.
The views expressed on this article
are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Honest Observer’s editorial