Jakarta (ANTARA) - Implementing the endemic status requires the joint agreement of all state leaders based on the controlled situation of COVID-19 in the country, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated.

Sadikin made the statement after attending the opening ceremony of the COMSTECH-OIC Fellowship Program and inauguration of the OIC COE Network Laboratory at the Health Ministry building here on Thursday.

The minister said that on account of the global scale of the pandemic, if it has ended, then all state leaders must be uniform in declaring its end.

Sadikin noted that the current pandemic situation in Indonesia is relatively under control. The situation has been proven by the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron that caused a new wave in other countries but not in Indonesia.

He admitted that one of the challenges for Indonesia to be free from the pandemic status is the booster vaccination coverage that is still relatively low.

The minister estimated that people's immunity from primary vaccinations will decline in early 2023. Hence, if there is another COVID-19 wave in the world, then Indonesia will potentially be affected.

"The (coverage of) third dose vaccination in Indonesia is low. After six months (immunity) will decrease, including my immunity: it has declined," he said while referring to his recent COVID-19 infection.

Sadikin appealed to the public to immediately access booster vaccination services in all available healthcare facilities.

The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of September 14, 2022, the nation has recorded 6,400,035 COVID-19 cases, 6,211,796 recoveries, and 157,828 deaths.

As part of the efforts to boost community immunity, the government launched a nationwide vaccination program on January 13, 2021, targeting as many as 234,666,020 citizens.

According to data provided by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of September 14, 2022, as many as 204,227,914 Indonesians have received the first vaccine dose, 170,839,673 have been administered the second dose, 62,161,753 have taken the third dose or first booster dose, and 513,741 have received the fourth dose or second booster dose.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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