Epidemiologist cautions on potential third wave of COVID-19 cases


Griffith University Australia epidemiologist Dicky Budiman has cautioned on the potential third wave of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

“The potential of the third wave is very clear. This potential is related to the population that doesn’t yet have immunity to the virus and those whose immunity has decreased,” said Dicky Budiman when contacted by ANTARA here on Sunday.

Based on studies, a person’s immunity against COVID-19 transmission will decrease five months after receiving a complete vaccination.

“Nothing lasts long, that’s a fact. So the potential spike in cases caused by Omicron is very clear. Meanwhile, the infection rate of this variant is also faster than the Delta (variant),” he said.

Hence, the government needs to increase testing and tracing to address the Omicron variant.

“This should not be ignored, because we will not be able to cut off the transmission if we do not carry out massive early detection. Stopping transmission needs to be done by finding cases of infection and their contact cases, so that people can undergo isolation or quarantine effectively,” he explained.

In addition, the government must also strictly enforce health protocols, including supervising the public in wearing masks, maintaining social distance, washing hands, staying away from crowds, and reducing mobility.

Budiman said the Omicron cannot be underestimated, because this variant is included as a variant of concern (VOC). “So don’t underestimate it because this variant is dangerous. Omicron looks like a viral variant that is easy to deal with because most people have followed vaccinations,” he said.

Separately, an epidemiologist from Andalas University, Defriman Djafri asked the government to streamline screening, testing, tracing, and whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis to suppress the spread of Omicron variants in the country.

“This strategy is to ensure that we can identify cases quickly, and the identified cases have to be strictly quarantined, on consideration that the Omicron is transmitted faster than other variants,” he said.


Source: Antara News

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