UNAIR Epidemiology expert explains why East Java become new epicenter of Covid-19

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Dr. Windhu Purnomo, dr., MS., an epidemiologist from UNAIR. (Photo: By courtesy)

UNAIR NEWS – East Java has become the new epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. With confirmed cases reaching 10,901 as of June 26, East Java exceeded the number of cases recorded in DKI Jakarta with 10,796 cases. As of June 28, the number of cases in East Java has increased to 11,508 cases.

UNAIR Epidemiologist expert Dr. Windhu Purnomo, dr., MS., said that although East Java had the highest number of positive cases in Indonesia, the attack rate of the province was not the highest in Indonesia, but only ranked 9th out of 34 provinces in Indonesia. He added that East Java’s attack rate was only 27 per 100,000 population, while DKI Jakarta was 105 per 100,000 population. Windhu explained that the attack rate is a value of how much risk the population to be infected with Covid-19 and it is measured by dividing the number of confirmed cases in an area divided by the number of residents in the region.

“But this is not entirely good news because in fact, Surabaya is now a city with the highest attack rate in Indonesia. Its value is around 150 per 100,000 population. The attack rate increased by 75% during transition period and Large Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) is no longer enforced in Surabaya. The high risk of infection is a major factor for East Java being the Covid-19 epicenter in Indonesia, “Windhu explained on Saturday evening, June 26, 2020.

The man who serves as the Head of PSBB Advocacy Team and Covid-19 Surveillance at UNAIR Faculty of Public Health said that the high risk of infection in Surabaya is due to the very high population density, with a rate of 8,600 / km 2 . Windhu also pointed out the lack of strict enforcement of health protocols and citizen compliance controls, as well as the absence of fines in the mayor’s regulations if they violated the health protocol.

Windhu said that the step that must be immediately carried out by the regional government in controlling the rate of spread of Covid-19 is to control public discipline of health protocols as stated governor / mayor regulations. Violators must be given strict fines. He also urged that the PCR testing (swab test) to be increased so that positive cases of Covid-19 can be found as much as possible so the pandemic chain can be broken immediately.

“Another step that can be taken by the regional government is to make the Surabaya City Government Hospital become Covid-19 Special Hospital and the capacity of bed for isolation is improved in the referral hospitals of Covid-19. Most importantly, these steps must be carried out optimally and quickly, “concluded the lecturer of UNAIR Faculty of Public Health.

Author: Pradnya Wicaksana

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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