Jakarta (ANTARA) - Member of Commission V of Indonesia's House of Representatives, Sigit Sosiantomo, is in favor of cancellation of the government's Circular Letter Number 88 of 2021 that necessitates PCR test results as a flight requirement.

"In Java, they already hit level 1 of PPKM. I think mobility activities in regions, with level 1 PPKM, should require an antigen test. Moreover, almost 60 percent of Indonesians had been vaccinated," Sosiantomo stated in a release received here, Saturday.

It will be difficult for the community to meet the requirement to furnish a PCR test result on account of several factors, ranging from its uneven availability across Indonesia to the short validity period as well as the relatively expensive price, he explained.

Sosiantomo called on the government to take a cue from the U.S. by mapping out areas with low to high COVID-19 risks to assess which regions require the COVID-19 test to be implemented.

Sosiantomo believes that the main objective behind the government mandating PCR test results for domestic flights pertained to the plan to increase aircraft capacity.

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In fact, citing the research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air transportation is one of the safest modes of transportation to safeguard from the spread of COVID-19.

"PCR is not a tool to prevent the spread of COVID anymore, but it is vaccination. We should also follow the World Health Organization's (WHO's) regulation that only requires antigen test for fully vaccinated passengers," he emphasized.

Seconding Sosiantomo's view, DPR's Commission I member, Sukamta, noted that this policy has a stronger business motive than a health-related purpose.

“Requiring PCR test for domestic flight is a strange policy, and an economic motive rather than health reasons seems to be the reason behind it," he stated.

As reported, Head of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) COVID-19 Task Force, Professor Zubairi Djoerban, stated that a PCR test during domestic flights for travelers was made mandatory since vaccination was not proven to provide 100-percent protection and prevention from COVID-19.

"Vaccination is safe and effective, but actually, it is not 100-percent effective," Djoerban noted during the online IDI event monitored on Friday night.

Djoerban stated that the COVID-19 vaccine is not 100-percent safe, and certain people have experienced a few side-effects. The average vaccination efficacy is still at around 65-95 percent.

This fact was proven by reports of 207 vaccinated doctors dying of the coronavirus infection in July 2021, he noted.

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Translator: M Razi, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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