Learning from New Variant Breaking into the Country's Gates

If the government is serious about tightening the mobility of citizens, the entry gate for foreign nationals should also be strictly guarded. Because, through the country's gate, a new variant of the virus from abroad enters. The "half-hearted lockdown" policy must face the harsh reality. When the implementation of the emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM) was almost over, the Covid-19 rampage was even more intense. The optimism of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, who was appointed by President Jokowi as the commander to lead this special mission to deal with the second wave of Covid-19, was wrong. Instead of gently sloping towards the target of below 10,000 cases of transmission per day, it skyrocketed beyond 50,000. On July 15, 2021, the daily number of positive cases was 56,757 and 982 cases died. In fact, when the emergency PPKM began to be implemented on July 3, 2021, there were "new" 27,913 cases and 493 deaths. More than double!

Stop Accidental Herd Immunity

  'God's SELECTION. God is choosing. Who continues to live and who is considered enough'. This is the last post of Bambang Purwoko, a lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and the Head of the UGM Papua Task Force on his Facebook page, Sunday (4/7/2021), who was all at that time. Ten days later, Mr. Bambang died. Hopefully he had died with blessing (husnul khatimah). Previously, the deceased had posted his worries. 'Anomaly? The epidemic is getting worse, but the streets and public places are getting livelier.” That is the reflection of Mr. Purwoko before he died, which is very appropriate in describing the conditions in mid-2021. The posts aptly reflected this mid-2021 crisis. The second wave of Covid-19 that has plagued our country had to be controlled. President Jokowi had imposed an emergency community activity restriction (PPKM) on July 3-20 2021 and extended it until July 25, 2021, and had been extended again until August 2, 2021. When the emergency PPKM began, the daily additional rate was 27,913 people. The President's target was that the cases would fall below 10 thousand people per day.

Organizing the Reason of Pandemic Management

Our nation is one of those who easily become sensitive, especially to things related to the Covid-19 pandemic. They were frustrated because they were forbidden to travel inland (mudik), but they broke through the ban on inland traveling. The result was a tremendous explosion of Covid-19 cases. The government also pulled the 'hand brake' with the implementation of emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM) at that time. The explosion was compounded by the 'foreign factor', the delta variant from India. The Central Indonesian Medical Association (Ikatan Dokter Indonesia/IDI), through its Deputy General Chair Slamet Budiarto, said this variant was the main trigger for the current bad situation. This variant was brought by foreigners or Indonesians who returned home because the country's gates were not closed while the people were prohibited from traveling inland between regions. The combination of the factors of inland-traveling break-ins and foreign variants had proven to be deadly.

Undoing the Trap of Imported Pharmaceutical Raw Materials

If phytopharmaceuticals are developed more seriously, including market certainty, good prospects lie ahead for Indonesia to be able to reduce dependence on imported BBO or finished pharmaceutical products. President Joko Widodo is irked by Indonesia’s huge dependence on imports for drugs, pharmaceutical raw materials, and medical equipment. He wants to not just reduce the imports, but stop them altogether. "Speaking about health equipment, drugs and raw materials for medicines, we have to stop importing these items. We must produce them ourselves in our [own] country," the President said on 27 Dec. 2021 at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bali International Hospital in Denpasar. Of course, we must support this good intention, but apart from medical equipment, do we have the capacity to stop importing raw materials for manufacturing drugs? Can we rely on our upstream pharmaceutical industry?

Mengurai Jerat Impor Bahan Baku Obat

Indonesia dikenal sebagai negara nomor dua di dunia dengan keragaman biodiversitas, setelah Brasil. Sayang industri fitofarmaka kita masih ketinggalan sejak dari R&D, infrastruktur industrinya, dan regulasi pendukungnya. Presiden Joko Widodo merasa terusik dengan besarnya ketergantungan pada impor obat, bahan baku obat dan alat kesehatan. Presiden ingin bukan sekadar mengurangi, tetapi tujuan nantinya adalah menghentikan impor. “Alkes, obat-obatan dan bahan baku obat, kita harus berhenti untuk mengimpor barang barang itu lagi. Kita produksi sendiri di negara kita,” kata Presiden saat peletakan batu pertama RS Internasional di Denpasar, Bali (27/12/2021). Tekad bagus ini tentu harus kita dukung, tetapi di samping alat kesehatan (alkes), apa bisa menghentikan impor bahan baku obat? Siapkah industri hulu farmasi kita?