"Until now, no one could predict when the COVID-19 pandemic would end. Several countries already in their reopening process have suddenly enforced another lockdown period. Therefore, it would be appropriate for us to prepare ourselves to coexist with the virus," he remarked at an online discussion on learning to live with COVID-19, originating from Jakarta on Thursday.
To be able to coexist with the coronavirus and stop its transmission, society will need to adapt to the new normal, Priharto said.
"If we cannot prevent the virus spread, we will see another spike in the infection rate. The public needs to understand this as the government needs their support (to stop the virus spread) as well," he added.
He said the government is striving to control COVID-19 transmission, and collaboration with the public is necessary for this task. Strict observance of health protocols in society will also help bring down the infection rate, he added.
"The rise and decline in the positive rate depends on our behavior because if we conduct our health protocol properly, the positive rate will decline. This is what we need to prepare from now," Priharto said.
During the discussion, the head of Yogyakarta province's Gunung Kidul district, Sunaryanta, expressed his administration's commitment to improving compliance with the health protocols and encouraging vaccinations in the district.
"We will prioritize these two aspects at once. If we only enhance one aspect, yet neglect the others, the infection rate will not improve," the district head pointed out.
The district authority is committed to educating residents on the importance of following the health protocols by cooperating with sub-district authorities, residents' representatives, and community leaders, he added.
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