ULM’ expert says COVID spike in Banjarmasin alarming

Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) – Hidayatullah Muttaqin SE, MSI, Pg.D, a member of expert team for the Lambung Mangkurat University’s (ULM’s) COVID-19 Acceleration Handling, said that surge in the positive case in the capital of South Kalimantan is alarming.

“In the first nine days of March, the infected people increased by 532. This situation puts Banjarmasin in a dangerous condition for the people in terms of transmission rate,” he said here on Wednesday.

Muttaqin admitted that he was concerned to find out that the mobility and activities of the people were going as in normal condition –as if the COVID-19 spike was not a big deal. 

Whereas in other countries, such as China and New Zealand, he pointed out, if only one or two cases found, the government immediately took strategic measures by closing the territory and temporarily stopping people’s mobility.

They conducted a massive PCR test to capture the exposed people as many as possible. It was done to prevent wider transmission, then people can return to their activities as soon as possible.

According to Muttaqin, the development of the pandemic in the city should require citizens to be more aware to increase their vigilance, and get a wider people involved in implementing the health protocol.

“The government must design a new strategy for handling the pandemic, because public activity restriction (PPKM) and micro-scale public activity restriction (micro-PPKM) here, especially in preventing a spike in cases, have not had a maximum result,” he said.

The addition of 532 new cases in Banjarmasin brings the total cases to 5,981, based on the data from the South Kalimantan Health Office, 

Banjarmasin also contributed 34 percent of 1,590 new cases in the province during 1-9 March 2021. The tally of active cases in Banjarmasin as of March 9 reached 542 cases or 26 percent of the total 2,123 active cases in the province (Firman).

Source: Antara Kalsel, 12 March 2021.