Community activities restrictions in Indonesia have been lifted after going through lengthy considerations and studies as well as taking into account the controlled pandemic situation in the country, including the large coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations and herd immunity.
This decision was announced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Merdeka Palace, here on Friday, accompanied by Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian.
“Today the government decided to revoke PPKM as stipulated in the Minister of Home Affairs Instructions Numbers 50 and 51 of 2022. So, there are no more restrictions on crowds and people’s movements,” the head of state said.
The president emphasized that this decision was taken after going through considerations and studies, as well as taking into account the pandemic situation in the country.
“Alhamdulillah, Indonesia is one of the countries that has managed to control the COVID-19 pandemic well and at the same time has been able to maintain the economic stability. The ‘gas and brake’ policy that balances handling health and the economy is the key to our success,” he said.
The president further explained that in the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia has been getting under control. As of Dec. 27, 2022, the daily number of corona virus infection cases was recorded at 1.7 cases per 1 million people, the weekly positivity rate of 3.35 percent, the bed occupancy rate (BOR) of 4.79 percent, and the mortality rate of 2. 39 percent.
“These number are all under WHO’s standards. And, all districts/cities in Indonesia currently have PPKM Level 1 status, meaning that restrictions on crowds and people’s movements are at a lower level,” he explained.
The president added, Indonesia is one of four G20 countries, which has not experienced a pandemic wave for 10 consecutive months, after reaching the peak of the infection reaching 56,000 daily cases in July 2021 and the peak of the Omicron variant trend in February 2022 with 64,000 daily cases.
Apart from the controlled pandemic situation, the revocation of the PPKM was also based on the high coverages of the herd immunity and the COVID-19 vaccination.
“According to the sero survey, the herd immunity in December 2021 was at 87.8 percent, and in July 2022 it was above 98.5 percent. This means that our herd immunity is at a very high number. And the number of vaccinations to date is 448,525,478 doses. This is also a big number,” he pointed out.
Even though the PPKM policy has been revoked, the head of state called on the people to remain careful and alert in facing the risk of COVID-19.
“The use of masks in crowds and closed spaces must continue, vaccination awareness must continue to be encouraged because this will help increase immunity, and people must be more aware in preventing transmission, detecting symptoms, and seeking treatment,” he said.
In addition, the head of state also stressed that the government officials and institutions must remain alert. He also requested that the COVID-19 Handling Task Force be maintained during the transition period.
“Health facilities in all areas must be on alert with health facilities and personnel, and the vaccination mechanism should be continuing, especially booster vaccinations. And during this transitional period, the central and regional COVID-19 Task Forces should be maintained to respond quickly,” he said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window