Jakarta, Indonesia – With a coronavirus infection rate that has nearly quadrupled since the start of the month, and one of the world’s highest mortality rates, Indonesia’s response to the pandemic has led to doomsday predictions by infectious disease experts, epidemiologists and data handlers abroad.
President Joko Widodo’s original denial of the problem and his current resistance to a blanket lockdown has also sparked a heated debate on social media, with critics posting the hashtag #LockdownOrDie backed by some health experts and politicians.
The president’s actions have also raised speculation that the archipelagic nation of 268 million people is secretly pursuing herd immunity without a vaccine – a solution abandoned by the United Kingdom after it was revealed that millions could perish.
“At this point, we can only foresee a dark ending to our pandemic story,” wrote The Jakarta Post in an expose that examined herd immunity and other potential endings to Indonesia’s coronavirus health emergency.
But a member of the government’s taskforce against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, refuted such claims, offering Al Jazeera detailed up-to-date information on the country’s response strategy.
Source: Al Jazeera