Jakarta (ANTARA) - An epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono asked the government to evaluate the implementation of community activity restriction (PPKM) amid the increasing number of Omicron cases.

"Government must re-evaluate the PPKM leveling. The social restrictions must be changed or raised," Wahyono said here on Sunday.

He later explained that the death case due to the Omicron variant is an alarm for the government to take mitigation steps to reduce community activities.

In addition, he also suggested the government to tighten entrances in the border and re-implement the quarantine rules for 14 days.

Wahyono considered that the 10-day quarantine period for international travelers was inefficient, considering that the Omicron variant lasts 14 days in an individual's body.

Furthermore, education and socialization regarding health protocols must also be revived in the community.

"People have started to ignore the implementation of health protocols. The campaign must be reactivated," he reminded.

Wahyono also asked the government to increase surveillance through testing and tracking in every area.

Therefore, the availability of test equipment that effectively detects the Omicron variant must be available in every province, he continued.

Contacted separately, an epidemiologist from Andalas University in Padang, West Sumatra Defriman Djafri said that the implementation of PPKM currently requires monitoring and evaluation.

"PPKM is still effective until today, even though we must carry out supervision and evaluation in the field," he said.

Previously, the Ministry of Health reported that two COVID-19 patients confirmed by Omicron had died.

These two cases are the first reported fatalities in Indonesia due to a new variant that has a high transmission rate.

"One case was a local transmission who died at the Sari Asih Hospital in Ciputat and the other was a foreign traveler, who died at the Sulianti Saroso Hospital," Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health Siti Nadia Tarmizi informed.

From the first case of the Omicron variant on December 15 in Indonesia, a cumulative 1,161 confirmed cases of Omicron have been found in Indonesia.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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