Omicron Transmission Estimated Higher Than Delta

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Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant is predicted to be much higher than the Delta variant. Even so, after research, the symptoms experienced by the majority of Omicron patients tend to be mild to moderate, so it is believed that it will not increase the burden on healthcare facilities.

“Indeed, the increase in omicron transmission will be much higher than a delta, but far less are being treated. The Department of Health investigated for these 414 Omicron patients what the symptoms were, which symptoms should only be treated at home, which most would treat. “What’s being treated or isolated centrally, which symptoms are hospitalized, which are moderate and which are severe,” he said in a press conference after a limited meeting at the Jakarta State Palace. , Monday (10/1).

Ministry of Health says Budi cooperates with 17 platforms telemedicine To ensure that Omicron patients quarantined at home can still consult doctors and receive medication delivery service.

So far, most of the 414 cases of Omicron detected domestically have come from overseas travelers (PPLN), Budi said. positive rate by 13 percent. In the case of micron from local transmission, it reached 0.2 percent.

“We also surveyed 414 people who were in the intermediate category, so only two people need oxygen therapy, one is 58 years old and 47 years old, and they both have comorbidities. “Of the 414 people treated with Omicron, 114, or about 26 percent, recovered, including two who were in the intermediate category and needed oxygen to get home.”

Currently, the countries with the highest cases of the Omicron variant are Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates.

Strategy for dealing with Omicron

Budi also said that he is quite confident that the government will be better prepared to face the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic this time around. The strategy taken by the government is to speed up the first and second vaccine doses.

To date, at least 169 million Indonesians who meet vaccine requirements, or more than 81 percent, have been vaccinated with the first dose. This makes Indonesia 4th in the world in terms of the number of people vaccinated.

As of yesterday, 288 million doses were administered for the first 170 million doses, and 116 million doses were administered for the second dose.

Budi added that almost all provinces have reached 70 percent of the first dose of vaccine. The remaining five provinces, namely West Sumatra, West Sulawesi, Maluku, West Papua and Papua have not yet reached this level.

Experimental COVID-19 pill Molnupiravir. (Photo: drawing).

In addition to the vaccine, the Ministry of Health brought 400,000 tablets of ready-to-use anti-virus drug Molnupiravir from Merck.

“We’re going to face this micron wave, don’t panic, we’ve been well prepared and experience shows that even though this micron wave is rising rapidly, it’s decreasing quickly, so the important thing is remember to keep up the process, discipline of surveillance, speed up the vaccine for those who have not yet received vaccination,” he said.

Reliable Healthcare System Ready to Face Luhut Omicron

On the same occasion, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Minister of Maritime and Investment Coordination, emphasized that the healthcare system in the country is quite ready to face the Omicron variant. He has asked all local governments to prepare hospital facilities and make isolation as early as possible. In addition, local governments are asked to strengthen their 3T strategy again. (testing, monitoring and treatment) to find cases as quickly as possible.

Luhut emphasized that 178 days after the delta case peaked, the situation and situation of the epidemic in Indonesia is still under control, with one death recorded in DKI Jakarta until January 2022.

“However, preventive measures are key so that we can prevent threats and we must be united. There is no need to look for faults here, but we should remind each other well. Prevention of Omicron can not only be done by the government, but must also include the role of society, which should not be satiated with the proper use of Care to Protect, starting with the implementation of health procedures,” he said.

Expert: Third Wave of Pandemic in Indonesia February-March Forecast

Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Griffith University in Australia, predicts that the ohmicron wave in the country will occur in February-March. It is true from his observations that the peak or explosion of cases in Indonesia is usually delayed by two to three months compared to other countries.

He said this is because case detection in Indonesia is much weaker than in other countries.

“We are not as big as they are when it comes to making. testingThe limitations of our 3T have been clear in the previous two waves, Dicky told INVALID.

Dicky explained that this is also because Indonesian people treat themselves when they are sick, rather than going to healthcare facilities. Thus, more vulnerable people are exposed to COVID-19. The decline in population antibody levels from both natural infection and first and second dose vaccines was also significantly reduced.

Graph of the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia.  (BNPB)

Graph of the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia. (BNPB)

Therefore, he added, there is no guarantee that the cases of hospitalization will be much less than the delta variant. According to him, the government’s success in preventing this third wave depends on several things: speeding up the first and second doses of vaccines, as well as how long the supplements for vulnerable groups will take, then how mitigation efforts are carried out. The implementation of the 3T strategy and 5M interventions was not approved by the government as it would still have a significant impact on efforts to reduce the combination of delta and Omicron variants against susceptible groups.

“Whatever the variant causing COVID-19, even the first variant there in Wuhan has a significant impact on the burden on healthcare facilities, especially Omicron, which is at least twice as deadly as the first variant found in Wuhan. We cannot risk it lightly. Or we cannot be overly optimistic.”

“We learn from cases in Europe, the USA and even Australia, where the burden on healthcare facilities begins, although vaccination is much higher than in Indonesia at two doses, or even as a supplement.” he concluded. [gi/em]

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