‘COVID-19 is real’, govt says as public denial persists

first_imgIndonesia has recorded nearly 10,000 fatalities and 252,923 total cases as of Tuesday. “If some people deny the presence of COVID-19 [and neglect health measures], transmission will continue,” Doni said.Some Indonesian citizens, including public figures, have endorsed conspiracy theories about the pandemic. Bali-based musician Jerinx, for example, claimed that the recorded number of COVID-19 infections was being manipulated to be larger than it actually was. He has also ignored authorities’ calls for social distancing and mask wearing, including while participating in a rally in late July to protest against COVID-19 testing requirements for travel to Bali.The Bali Police have named the musician a suspect for defamation after he accused the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) of being “the WHO’s flunkey” for mandating that women preparing to give birth be tested for COVID-19.Topics : At least five behavioral change units consisting of a total of 100 volunteers have been deployed in five subdistricts of the capital to inform people about the virus and reinforce the need to adhere to health protocols.“If the initiative works, we will develop it in other regions as well,” Doni said during a meeting with the House of Representatives on Tuesday. “COVID-19 is real and has claimed nearly a million of lives globally.”Doni did not reveal the details of the Health Ministry survey he cited during the meeting.Read also: 160 deaths in one day: Indonesia sets bleak virus record A recent survey by the Health Ministry has found that many citizens do not believe that COVID-19 exists and that many have challenged the call to adhere to health protocols, the national COVID-19 task force has said.In response, the task force has formed so-called “behavioral change” units. They consist of members of the community, the military and local administrations and seek to raise public awareness about the dangers of COVID-19. National COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo said the initiative would be tested first in Jakarta, a hotbed of coronavirus contagion, before being brought to other regions.last_img