Covid-19: Coexist, But don’t Let It Be in Your Midst

Covid-19: Coexist, but don't let it be in your midst

Covid-19: Coexist, but don't let it be in your midst
To prevent the Mu variant virus, it is necessary to tighten the entrance of travelers at airports in Indonesia. (Photo: IO/Rayi Gigih)

Jakarta, IO – Erupting among the public in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China, at the end of 2019, the waves of positive COVID-19 cases are unceasing, with patients in the millions. Entering Indonesia in early March 2020, Indonesia now ranks 13th in the world with a mortality rate of 3.2%; it is higher than the global level, which is only 2.07%. 

“In other words, out of 100 COVID-19 patients, 3 die,” said Ahmad Muslim Nazaruddin, while delivering the COVID-19 Vaccine Education material in the webinar “Can the Elderly with Alzheimer’s Be Vaccinated?” which was held on Saturday (11/9/2021).

Many citizens are clearly tired of the pandemic. However, any prediction of when the pandemic will end is still being debated, partly because new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge. 

After Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Theta, Eta, Iota, Kappa, a new variant of Mu appears. Variant Mu or B.1.621 was first discovered in Colombia and Ecuador, and has since spread to 46 countries around the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that COVID-19 is likely to be with humanity for a long time. “The virus will continue to mutate in countries that do not have or lack access to vaccines. COVID-19 will continue to spread like influenza. Eradicating COVID-19 is impossible. However, there are efforts to avoid it, namely vaccination and the application of health protocols,” said the lung specialist from the Jakarta Islamic Hospital.

Experts believe that three theories can be used to answer the question of how long will the COVID-19 pandemic last? First, the COVID-19 pandemic will become an epidemic or endemic. Second, herd immunity is regional or local. Third, herd immunity is temporary so periodic vaccinations are needed.

“From clinical experience, people who have not been vaccinated have more spots on their chest radiographs than those who have been vaccinated. Those who have been vaccinated may still have COVID-19, but the effects are much lighter than those who have not been vaccinated. Data frequency of post-vaccine side effects in participants: Johnson & Johnson vaccine efficacy 61.5% for age 18-59, 45.3% for 60+; Pfizer 82.8% for ages 18-55, 70.6% for 55+; Moderna (second dose) 81.9% for age 18-64, 71.9% for 65+,” he said.

Covid-19: Coexist, But don't Let It Be in Your Midst
dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, MEpid

Positive Cases has Decreased

Meanwhile, in a live IG broadcast on Monday (13/9/2021), Siti Nadia Tarmizi, Head of the COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force at the Ministry of Health, said that as of September 1-6, of the 7,179 people who entered Indonesia, 2% positive for COVID-19. “Although it has spread to 46 countries until now the Mu variant has not been detected in Indonesia. 98% of the infections detected in Indonesia are the Delta variant, which spreads much faster. For it not to enter Indonesia, it is necessary to tighten the entrance of travelers at airports, especially Jakarta and Bali,” she explained.

On the same occasion, Reisa Broto Asmoro, Ambassador for the Adaptation of New Habits, emphasized that vaccination can prevent the severity of those who have been vaccinated. Although the number of positive cases in Indonesia has decreased, we must not be careless but continue to apply the 5M health protocol, namely wearing masks, washing hands with soap, maintaining a safe distance, avoiding crowds, and reducing mobility.

“I will not be tired of saying this over and over: vaccines prevent the severity of COVID-19. Vaccines are proven safe. Get vaccinated immediately, no need to be picky about the brand. Get vaccinated immediately and continue to apply the 5M health protocol so that we can get the benefits. We must all be prepared to live with COVID-19 by lowering the level of the pandemic to endemic. We can live side by side, but we don’t have to catch COVID-19,” she said. (est)