SEMARANG – The decreasing level of Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement and the decreasing number of Covid-19 sufferers in a number of cities and regencies in Indonesia is expected to not make the public and government off guard. While Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement is considered by an epidemiologist from Faculty of Public Health Undip as an education to the community.

The Dean of Faculty of Public Health Undip, Dr. Budiyono, S.KM, M.Kes, said this in a press meeting held via Zoom Meeting entitled “Anticipating Negligence Post-Covid-19 Decline”. “In the current conditions, it is feared that a new variant of Covid-19 will reappear. On the one hand, the slack of society and government supervision could actually cause the number of Covid-19 in the country to rise again. Therefore, we need to be vigilant, don’t be careless,” said Budiyono, at a meeting held on Sunday (5/9/2021).

According to him, awareness of using masks in the community is still lacking. Therefore, the commitment to keep implementing health protocols is needed to frequently washing hands with soap, maintaining distance and wearing masks. He reminded that the emergence of new variants could later cause outbreak of endemic for Covid-19. Endemic is a disease that appears and becomes characteristic in a certain area due to mutations in the virus or bacteria that cause it.

It should be understood, to maintain its life, the virus will continue to mutate by changing into new variants. On the one hand, the community has not fully received the Covid-19 vaccination while the virus continues to mutate. Therefore, to achieve herd immunity, the distribution of vaccines needs to be maximized, including the scope of administration, which is still subject to age restrictions.

Theoretically, a person’s immunity can be obtained from vaccinations or because the person has been exposed to Covid-19. However, it is reminded that immunity is not permanent in providing protection. “Variants of viruses will continue to appear and the virus will continue to adapt, so humans must be ready and not be careless because vaccination cannot prevent humans from being infected,” he explained.

In the future, social factors will become very important in dealing with Covid-19, especially the implementation of wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining distance in daily life. It must be done in every activity, such as at the mall, face-to-face meeting at work, at the market and others. “The government must also actively conduct tracing, so that they can find out the ratio. This is important for making policy levels 1,2,3,4 of Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement as well as other policies.’”

Meanwhile Undip Epidemiologist, dr. Ari Udijono, M.Kes, said that the essence of Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement is the existence of restrictions because there are problems with the transmission of Covid-19. “In Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement, I see it as education from the government so that people obey the rules and reduce the potential for crowds,” said Ari Udijono.

Ari revealed that the concept in dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak is how to break the chain of spread. The principle of disappearance or reduction of Covid-19 spread is when the chain of transmission can be suppressed.

Control efforts are carried out by individuals, agents and the environment. Everyone, apart from being asked to implement health protocols, must also begin to understand the related technicalities, such as the types of masks used and their protective capabilities. Then an understanding of the agent is about objects that have the potential to be a medium of transmission.

The environment is also a separate thing that needs to be understood. “People in Indonesia like to get together in groups, as a result now in some places are starting to be crowded again. So we have to find a solution to do daily activities and run the economy field as well as prevent the spread of virus,” he hoped.

Another Undip Epidemiologist, Dr. dr. Bagoes Widjanarko, MPH., said the basic concept of handling Covid-19 is the same as for other infectious diseases. However Covid-19 is a disease which transmission risk occurs because of social patterns that are carried out between humans, such as gathering in groups. “The risk is higher if there is an interaction. So the government must make regulations. Meanwhile we still have to implement health protocols until it is declared no longer a pandemic,” said Bagoes Widjanarko.

Bagoes acknowledged that beside implementing health protocols, a powerful way to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic is vaccination so that herd immunity would be developed. Therefore, the government still has to educate the public, how to do protection through masks to prevent splashes of the virus from reaching the respiratory tract. “We can also carry out social activities but with strict implementation of health protocols. Humans must be able to adapt to this new condition.”

According to him, even if there is no transmission later, health protocols must still be implemented so that it becomes a continuing habit. Since this is very important, considering the current Covid-19 virus has more variations due to mutations. “What needs to be watched out for, if people start to neglect the health protocols again, then there may be an outbreak of Covid-19 again,” he said. (PR team)

Translated by: Titis (Public Relations)