Dengue fever is one of the deadliest diseases in Indonesia, compared to COVID-19. (Image via Medical News Today)

Indonesian Health Ministry: COVID-19 is bad, so are other diseases

It has been more than 2 months and Indonesia is still struggling to face the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). While the efforts to prevent COVID-19 has become the “new normal” lifestyle, Indonesia’s Health Ministry warned that other zoonotic diseases are also as dangerous as COVID-19.

Speaking at a webinar with the Indonesian Parasite Control Association (P4I), Health Ministry's Director for Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated that it is a new “homework” that the Indonesian people will not forget about the other diseases.

Siti Nadia then explained that there are other zoonotic diseases that remain as deadly or even deadlier than COVID-19 in some Indonesian provinces. For example, while COVID-19 remains high in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, the number of leptospirosis cases in Yogyakarta is far higher than COVID-19 in its region.

On the other hand, rabies is still a problem in some Indonesian regions, notably Bali, North Sumatera, Riau Islands, West Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and many more. Let alone dengue fever that remains as one of the deadliest diseases in Indonesia.

Nadia said that the most accurate step is the vector control in accordance with the disease. For example, to prevent dengue fever, fogging is the way. Epidemiological investigation and requirement checks are done firsthand, with two cycles in 7 days interval each. Moreover, fogging is done outside within a 200 m radius.