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Dr Pandu Riono - Indonesia's pandemic In early March as the pandemic quickly spread across the world and its neighbours rushed to close their borders and economies, Indonesia’s Minister for Health Terawan Agus Putranto told local media he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, describing the coronavirus as less dangerous than the flu. Indonesia did not record its first official case of COVID-19 until 2 March and would not issue its PSBB or lockdown orders until the end of the month and in some provinces even later. Meanwhile, since January epidemiologists at the University of Indonesia and from other institutions across the country were working behind the scenes to convince the government that the pandemic posed a major threat to the country’s inadequate and fragile heath services and infrastructure. Fast forward to June 2020 as lockdown restrictions are being eased and official numbers of cases and deaths ascribed to COVID-19 remain well below those earlier predictions and estimates but continue to trend upward, with some of the biggest daily totals of new cases recorded in the past week. Why are Indonesia’s case numbers relatively low? Is the testing regime and data analysis adequate? Have the government’s PSBB or social distancing regulations been successful? And how that restrictions are being lifted, what does the future hold? My guest today is Dr Pandu Riono an epidemiologist from the Faculty of Public Health at the University Indonesia and a member of a team of researchers who carried out some of the earliest modelling of the pandemic in Indonesia. http://staff.ui.ac.id/priono @drpriono Twitter Photo: Courtesy Central Java Provincial Public Relations

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