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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 surveillance full of holes in Indonesia

  • Sausan Atika


Jakarta   /   Fri, October 9 2020   /  01:00 am
Virus tracing: A woman undergoes a rapid test at Patriot Chandrabaga Stadium in Bekasi, West Java, on Friday organized by the Bekasi COVID-19 task force, which has called on residents to take the rapid tests because of the spike in coronavirus cases.(JP/P.J. Leo)

Indonesia is in a race against time to contain the COVID-19 outbreak as patients overrun health facilities and medical workers are overwhelmed, but primary efforts to break the chain of transmission are still far from enough, epidemiologists have said. Testing, tracing and isolation are key to containing COVID-19. Yet, these measures remain weak in Indonesia, largely because of limited testing capacity, an insufficient number of COVID-19 contact tracers and people’s reluctance to open up to these workers. On Oct. 7, a total of 44,212 specimens from 32,167 people were tested, according to the Health Ministry. On the same day, the ministry recorded 142,213 suspected cases. No data is available on the number of probable cases. Suspected cases are those with acute respiratory illness who have recently traveled or been exposed to a confirmed case, while probable cases are suspe...