Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia can be free from the pandemic if COVID-19 transmission continues to decline until February 2023, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said.

At a press conference at the Presidential Palace here on Tuesday, he informed that the government will evaluate public activity restrictions (PPKM) until late October 2022 to decide on the next policy.

"At the end of next month (November 2022), the future PPKM will be determined, along with the note that booster (vaccination) and (primary dose) vaccinations will be intensified in November, December, and January, because if we can maintain the declining cases in February, then we can escape the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.

According to the minister, coronavirus transmission in Indonesia has declined in the past six months, with the effective reproduction rate (Rt), which shows the rate of coronavirus transmission, remaining at less than 1 in the past three months.

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Hartarto, who is also the head of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee, said that nationwide, the 7-day moving average of COVID-19 cases stood at 1,195.

Based on data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Indonesia's active COVID-19 case count reached 15,871 as of Monday (October 10), a decline of 337 from the previous day.

Earlier, on October 3, President Joko Widodo said that in the near future, the Indonesian government will likely announce that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

"The pandemic, indeed, has started to subside. Maybe soon, we will declare the pandemic is over," he remarked.

The President has instructed Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin to consult with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic status.

"The President has urged me to consult with the WHO director general. (The President also) said that there are local policies regarding the easing of health protocols that can be taken," Minister Sadikin said.

According to him, the WHO has the authority to decide when the pandemic status can be lifted officially.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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