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Jakarta Post

Has Indonesia followed science in COVID-19 response? Perhaps not

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sat, February 20, 2021   /  09:31 am
The Jakarta Post Image
A staff member works on coronavirus serology tests at the laboratory in Pertamina Central Hospital amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jakarta on Dec. 16, 2020. (REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for governments around the world to take science into account when making decisions. Yet they continue to face challenges in adjusting policies as a result of evolving studies, data and evidence from the new coronavirus. But since the beginning of the outbreak, the Indonesian government has made headlines for rejecting scientific studies aimed at forecasting COVID-19 situations in the country. Even before the pandemic, the country was not regarded as friendly toward scientists, especially those from abroad. The Jakarta Post has looked into the government’s policies and compared them with several of the latest relevant studies. Wide use of rapid antibody tests Indonesia had been relying on rapid antibody tests since March for screening cases and close contacts. The rapid tests are supposed to be confirmed further throug...