Prof. Bimo: “COVID Third Wave is not fated – it’s preventable”

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Prof. Bimo: “COVID Third Wave is not fated – it’s preventable”
We need to maintain discipline in mask-wearing and physical distancing to avoid catching the virus. Photo: RAYI GIGIH/IO

IO – It’s already October. Recalling the First Wave of COVID-19 infection in
December 2020/January 2021 and the Second Wave in July 2021, a lot of people are consumed with worry that a Third Wave will occur in our Homeland at the heels of the Christmas 2021/New Year 2022 holidays.
The First Wave infection peaked on 30 January 2021 with 14,518 positive infections, while the Second Wave peaked on 15 July 2021 with 56,757 infections. Will a Third Wave occur? And if so, how many will get infected?

“The Third Wave is not fated, it’s preventable. As long as we implement these three important aspects, Insha Allah, Allah willing, it will not occur: first, we need to prevent the entry of new variants by closely watching the
border and the traffic of people entering and leaving our country. This is the Government’s duty. Second, we need to ensure that as many of our citizens as possible are covered by vaccination by performing two million
vaccinations a day. Third, we need to improve our mask-wearing and physical distancing discipline, currently at 75%,” said Prof. Bimo Ario Tejo, Associate Professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia, in a live IG talk held on
Tuesday (12/10/2021).

Prof. Bimo reported that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (“IHME”) believes that even though the coverage of second dose vaccination in Indonesia is 28.04%, the actual infected population in our country is actually 30% or 78 million people. “IHME data shows that during the Second Wave, the number of peak infections was not 56,000, but 800,000. With such a high number of people already exposed to the disease, we can almost be assured that Indonesia will not suffer a Third Wave. On the contrary, we are now in a transition from the pandemic to become an endemic, meaning that we must continue to live our everyday lives with COVID-19, because
the virus still exists. If you are vaccinated, no matter what brand you are
vaccinated with, you will suffer much milder symptoms even if you get infected in the end,” he said.

In order to survive an endemic, we need to have drugs and vaccine. However, no drug is suffcient to treat COVID-19 even now. Despite claims
that Monlupirafr is found to be effective against the disease and even though the neighboring countries Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia have ordered amounts of it for distribution, it is actually not that effective. After all, you must already consume this drug before the patient suffers heavy symptoms. Furthermore, it is extremely expensive at IDR 10 million for five days’ worth of dosage.

“So to elaborate, as soon as one is tested positive for the disease, one must consume the drug for fve consecutive days. This does not guarantee that you will not suffer it again later. And if you’re tested positive again, you must repeat consumption at the same dose, even though we all know that repeated consumption of a drug will cause the drug to accumulate in the body and cause worse long-term effects on the body than any vaccine
can ever cause. All components of a vaccine will be flushed out of the body within days, two months at most, leaving only the antibodies and memory cells that the body needs for immunity. Vaccines are simply safer and more effective,” Prof. Bimo said.

Separately, Sonny Harry B. Harmadi, Head of the COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force’s Behavior Change Division, declared on Wednesday, 13 October 2021 that it is precisely because malls are tentatively reopened and various activities are now allowed again that we need to further strengthen health protocols to avoid infections. “More vaccination to cover those who have not gotten it yet, and stronger mask-wearing, disinfectant using and implementing physical distancing discipline,” he said. (est)