"The emergence of new sub-variants has reminded (us) that the pandemic is not yet over. Thus, (we) must still pay attention to the implementation of the health protocols," the ministry's deputy assistant for health service quality improvement Nia Reviani said here on Monday.
She informed that the WHO, in its latest risk assessment of the Omicron XBB.1.5 or Kraken, has described it as a highly contagious sub-variant.
"Nevertheless, the WHO has also stated that the sub-variant does not have mutations that can cause severe symptoms. However, the community still needs to improve health protocols and equip themselves with COVID-19 vaccinations, especially vulnerable groups," she said.
According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused several problems in the health sector in Indonesia.
"To this end, to prevent the spread, compliance with health protocols still needs to be improved," she added.
She noted that the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture has continued to encourage synergy and cooperation among various sectors for pandemic handling, especially for increasing testing, tracing, and treatment (3T) efforts.
The ministry is also encouraging the strengthening of the synergy of various sectors to push for an improvement in health services.
"By strengthening the healthcare system and the right protocols, it is hoped that COVID-19 pandemic handling can be carried out properly," she said.
Meanwhile, deputy for professional development at the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI), Masdalina Pane, highlighted that community awareness is essential in efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The participation and awareness of the community is one of the main keys of COVID-19 spread prevention," she added.
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 January 30, 2023, the nation has recorded 6,729,756 COVID-19 cases, 6,564,669 recoveries, and 160,810 deaths.
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