Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin pointed out on Monday that education, surveillance, medicines, and vaccination activities were important for the community amid the endemic situation of COVID-19 in Indonesia.

"When Indonesia wanted to declare an endemic status, we consulted with the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding steps that should be taken and see what was lacking," Sadikin said at the Podcabs event titled "Pandemic Report to Health Bill Controversy" in Jakarta on Monday (July 3).

The minister underscored the need for people to realize that health problems during endemic situations are an individual problem for each community as well as while dealing with other common diseases, such as dengue fever.

He said the best and most successful form of health intervention is the people's awareness to maintain their health and not intervention by the government.

Another important aspect is surveillance activities through the provision of testing kits and genome sequencing tools, the minister said.

Sadikin said that the ministry has provided an antigen rapid test kit being sold at pharmacies to accommodate the public in choosing a diagnostic tool apart from laboratory facilities.

"Currently, we have prepared a QR Code. Hence, if the person tested positive, we can provide a telemedicine service by scanning the QR code," he explained.

In addition, the ministry had prepared anti-viral drugs that are now available in pharmacy networks and hospitals with a doctor's prescription, such as Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, he remarked.

Meanwhile, at the hospital level, domestic manufacturers have provided ventilators, oxygen, and Actemra medicine, the minister stated.

Sadikin said vaccination is also important in the efforts to prevent patients from experiencing severe symptoms when infected with COVID-19, especially among the elderly, who have not been vaccinated and people with immune problems.

During the pandemic, the government expanded vaccination coverage, from the initial age of 18 years and above to six years and above.

"As a matter of prevention, we give two doses of primary vaccination to build the immune system, just like immunizations for babies," he said.

Related news: Ministry: 5 mln COVID vaccines in stock, enough until end of 2023

Related news: Risk communication crucial in infectious diseases prevention: Ministry

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
Copyright © ANTARA 2023