Minister envisions pandemic ending if no case spike until February

Minister envisions pandemic ending if no case spike until February

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – Minister of Health  Budi Gunadi Sadikin  expressed optimism that Indonesia would be able to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic if there are no spike in cases until February 2023.

“Hopefully, what we are doing (by implementing health protocols and vaccination) can continue to maintain (the subsiding condition of the pandemic in) Indonesia (to) stay like this,” the minister stated at a discussion titled “Chat on G20 Health” on Thursday.

Sadikin explained that if Indonesia can go through the December 2022-February 2023 period with a declining count in COVID-19 cases, then it would become a country with no surge in COVID-19 cases for a period of 12 months.

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He assessed that if this can be achieved, then it would demonstrate that Indonesia was capable of controlling the pandemic better than other countries.

The minister advised all parties to remain alert, avoid complacence, and continue to maintain health protocols, so that Indonesia can be free from the pandemic.

Indonesia, through the state-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma, is currently producing an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine called IndoVac to meet vaccine requirements in the country, with a production capacity of 20 million doses this year.

Bio Farma conducted research and development of the vaccine for almost a year, from November 2021 to September 2022.

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The vaccine has received emergency-use authorization (EUA) from the National Agency for Drug and Food Control (BPOM) to be used for primary dose vaccination among people aged 18 and above. The IndoVac vaccine has also been certified halal by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) launched the IndoVac vaccine at the PT Bio Farma factory, Bandung, West Java, on Thursday, October 13, 2022. President Jokowi also monitored the first injection of the vaccine.

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 October 13, 2022, the nation has recorded 6,452,078 COVID-19 cases, 6,276,589 recoveries, and 158,263 deaths.

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