Yet, vaccine is not the only shield to face the pandemic.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government is working relentlessly to increase vaccination coverage in order to sustainably flatten the COVID-19 curve, according to Spokesman for the COVID-19 Response Task Force Professor Wiku Adisasmito.

"Yet, vaccine is not the only shield to tackle the pandemic," the professor noted during an online press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

Vaccination, especially the first dose, without adherence to health protocols, cannot guarantee the non-occurrence of a new wave of COVID-19, according to Adisasmito.

In fact, new COVID-19 cases spiked in countries where the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination was among the highest in the world, including Singapore, at 79 percent; Finland, 73 percent; the United Kingdom, 71 percent; Japan, 66 percent; and the United States, 63 percent, the spokesperson pointed out.

"Singapore focuses on strengthening 3T (testing, tracing and treatment) and increasing vaccination coverage, while at the same time, it pays less attention to prevention, including the lack of adherence to health protocols at public places,” he noted.

New clusters have begun to surface at several places in Singapore, including restaurants, karaoke parlors, shopping centers, and bus terminals, Adisasmito stated.

A spike in the number of COVID-19 cases occurred in Finland since it did not conduct screening tests on its team of football players that had recently arrived from Russia, he remarked.

"In addition, the local residents also did not respond to their government’s efforts to conduct contact tracing, so the tracing and handling of COVID-19 cases was disrupted,” he pointed out.

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The number of COVID-19 cases increased in the UK after the local authorities relaxed curbs on social and economic activities, including allowing face-to-face classes without exercising caution and paying attention to the preparedness of all elements involved, and thus, school clusters emerged, he noted.

In Japan, new clusters emerged and new cases increased following the Tokyo Olympiad 2020, he stated.

Despite accurate restrictions, the event had a significant impact on social activities of the Japanese people, he added.

“The people there tended to crowd at bars, cafes, and restaurants to watch the Olympiad,” he remarked.

In the US, the vaccination coverage is high, though the supervision and implementation of health protocols is weak, he noted.

“The non-mandatory use of face masks at several public places at a time when social and economic activities are running normally is one of the causes of the case spike (in the US),” he affirmed.

Amid an increase in the social and economic activities of people in Indonesia, all societal elements must stay disciplined in following health protocols, he emphasized.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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