COVID-19: Indonesia Is Transitioning From ‘Pandemic’ to ‘Endemic’ Status
As anticipated in our earlier Wellington Snapshot focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition to ‘endemic’ status in Indonesia is gathering pace.
Various factors are driving this phenomenon - these are laid out in our current assessment of the ‘vital signs’ that mark the gradual return of the nation to economic stability and social normalcy.
The so-called ‘Third Wave’ of COVID-19 infections - characterized by the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant - peaked in mid-February 2022. Subsequently, the reported COVID-19 caseload has been in sharp decline throughout the intervening period.
And as a consequence of this trend, the Government was able to permit the annual mass exodus (‘Mudik’) of Indonesian citizens to their hometown locations in May 2022. This ritual had been banned by the Government for two consecutive years - in 2020 and 2021 - due to the prevailing conditions of the pandemic.
It is estimated that up to 85 million Indonesian citizens chose to travel home during the Mudik period in 2022, which is the second-largest mass movement of people on the planet after the Chinese New Year celebrations.
This permission was founded upon the accelerated rollout of the nationwide immunization program, with more than 20% of the target population now having received two primary vaccine doses and a third COVID-19 Booster vaccine from approved sources.
The phased implementation of the Booster vaccine has also removed the need for individual citizens to undertake either a ‘Polymerase Chain Reaction’ (PCR) Test or a ‘Rapid Diagnostic Test - Antigen’ (RDT-Ag) prior to any domestic and international travel activity. In turn, this concession has given a much-needed lift to the tourism and hospitality sectors in Indonesia.
Most recently, the government has declared the use of protective facemasks to be optional - rather than compulsory - in all outdoor environments. However, face protection is still required within indoor public facilities and for the use of mass transportation.
If you would like to engage in an open dialogue on any aspect of the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia, please feel free to contact us.