UGM epidemiologist dr. Citra Indriani, MPH. said the enforcement of public activity restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic needed to be stricter and consistent. Such measures aimed to reduce the novel coronavirus transmission rate in the country.
“Various studies consider Public Activities Restriction Enforcement (PPKM) II ineffective as people’s mobility has not changed much and is still high. Hence actual enforcement of the PPKM policies needs to be even stricter,” she explained when contacted on Tuesday (2/2).
Citra said the second enforcement intended to reduce Covid-19 cases in the country, yet they remained high, with more than 10 thousand cases reported despite policies enacted.
“However, PPKM II still plays a part in preventing the Covid-19 transmission. If it hadn’t been for PPKM II, the cases would have increased to 20 thousand. When there is no restriction, the situation will instead get out of control,” she explained.
According to the UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing (FKKMK) lecturer, PPKM policies will be working not only by tightening the actual implementation but also by complying with health protocols. Monitoring the policy and health protocol enforcement and continuing health promotion for the public is also necessary to successfully curb the spread.
“Regional quarantine or lockdown becomes the last option due to its serious and costly consequences,” she revealed.
The central government also needs to provide assistance in the restriction implementation in each region to ensure it runs as expected.
She emphasized public restrictions must be tightened and carried out sustainably until the completion of vaccination in Indonesia.
“Public restrictions may have to be eased and tightened based on the situation. Living a new-normal life with strict health protocols becomes the standard. Such measures have to be taken up until all Indonesians get vaccinated,” she explained.