Ivermectin: A potential ally in Indonesia’s pandemic battle

Indonesia reports the highest cumulative number of COVID-19 infections in South-East Asia, with 4,100,138 positive cases. The Delta variant has fueled the biggest outbreaks, with Indonesia a major epicenter. To date, 133,676 people have died in Indonesia from COVID-19. The daily mortality toll in Indonesia has decreased from its peak in July, but it remains high.

Cases Underreported?

Many experts think COVID-19 cases are significantly underreported. Reuters reports 15% of Indonesians have already been infected with coronavirus, far greater than the government's estimate of 0.4%. Indonesia’s president, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, revealed in the early days of the outbreak that his administration had decided not to release complete statistics, to try to prevent panic.

According to some public health specialists, government officials often distort national-level data to justify pro-business policies, but Atik Choirul Hidajah, chairman of the epidemiology department and lecturer in public health at Airlangga University in Surabaya, says this mismatch in the data is due to a lack of laboratory testing capability, including a paucity of supplies and people.

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