Experts Ask Jokowi To Immediately Pull The 'Emergency Brake Amid The COVID-19 Surge Because Of Omicron
DOC OR ILLUSTRA TION

BANARMASIN - Member of the Expert Team at Lambung Mangkurat University (ULM) for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19 Hidayatullah Muttaqin advised the government to immediately withdraw the "emergency brake" due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, especially due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

"We are already on the verge of a third wave of threats, so immediately tighten community mobility again," said Muttaqin in Banjarmasin, quoted by Antara, Saturday, February 5.

As in South Kalimantan, he said, the situation is now worrying. Based on data from the local Health Service, this Saturday the number of confirmed COVID-19 residents increased by 250 cases.

The number of cases increased by 1.6 times from the cases on Thursday, February 3, and 22.5 times from the cases 10 days earlier, namely 11 confirmed cases. So as of February 5, 2022, there are 979 patients in treatment.

According to Muttaqin, there were three factors that caused the spike in COVID-19 cases in South Kalimantan in the past week.

First, the upward trend in the impact of the explosion of COVID-19 cases that occurred at the national level as a result of the entry and spread of the Omicron variant where the epicenter is Jakarta.

As the nation's capital, he said, Jakarta became the center of economic activity and national mobility, so that the COVID-19 explosion that occurred later spread to various regions in Indonesia, including South Kalimantan.

Second, the easing that has been carried out and the start of face-to-face learning has encouraged a surge in population mobility.

Muttaqin refers to Google data, the average change in the mobility of South Kalimantan residents at work in January 2022 increased by 8.5 percent compared to December 2021.

Then the mobility of parks and public spaces also increased by an average of 3.1 percent. Meanwhile, transportation rose 1.8 percent. Retail and leisure mobility fell 3.2 percent and grocery stores also fell 2.2 percent.

Third, the euphoria of the easing of socio-economic and community activities has led to a weakening of citizen discipline in implementing health protocols and a lack of education to improve them.

Muttaqin emphasized, if the local government is late in taking mitigation measures, the potential for COVID-19 transmission will be faster and more massive.

Likewise, the distribution will be increasingly widespread from the center to the regions, from Banjarmasin to various districts in South Kalimantan.

"This choice is indeed not easy and causes socio-economic losses for the community. But we have no better choice than to save people's lives and health," he said.


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