Some 70,000 Indonesians could be infected with COVID-19 before Ramadan, scientists say

first_imgThis prediction, Iqbal said, was meant to push the government to take massive and effective measures to handle the outbreak and also to raise awareness about the importance of social distancing. Doubling time, he said, depended on the ability of the virus to infect, the magnitude of the case findings and the effectivity of intervention.“Seventy-one thousand cases might sound scary, but that is what would happen without proper intervention (…) The President has urged the public to practice social distancing and we hope everyone is listening to him so we can decrease the doubling time (…) We have to do it faster and more effectively.”He added that clear, transparent information about the places visited by COVID-19 patients was important to reduce the exponential growth rate of the disease so that people can avoid these areas.According to the projections of Hadi Susanto, a professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Essex in England and the Khalifa University of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates, the peak of COVID-19 in Indonesia would be around Ramadan, which is expected to take place from April 23 to May 23. Assuming that even after a lockdown is imposed and people are still working and conducting business as usual and there are only two groups of people, the healthy ones and the sick ones, 50 percent of the population could be infected within 50 days after the first case was announced by the President on March 2, he said.“We use Jakarta as a sample with a population of around 10 million. At its peak, the virus could infect 50 percent of the population,” Hadi told the Post on Friday.He went on to say that if there was no lockdown policy and people could easily enter and exit the capital, then “the pandemic will not reach a peak and the number of sick people will continue to grow”.“This is my pessimistic prediction, formed with a simple mathematical model. And of course, I hope that I’m totally wrong,” he said.Achmad Yurianto, the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, told a press conference on Friday that the government had prepared 1 million test kits for massive testing.“Between 600,000 and 700,000 people are at risk [of contracting COVID-19],” he said, adding that only those with a greater risk of infection would get tested.A group of researchers at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Center of Mathematical Modelling and Simulation previously estimated that the outbreak would end in the middle of April and infect some 8,000 people.Nuning Nuraini, one of the researchers, said the team had used a parameter estimation model based on the spread of infection in South Korea, which has been praised for its aggressive prevention measures and widescale rapid testing.One such measure was providing drive-through COVID-19 testing centers that were able to test thousands of people, catching the infections early and rushing patients to hospitals to curb the spread of the disease.The ITB researchers’ modeling is more “optimistic” compared to others. However, on Friday, after the government announced that the nation had recorded 369 positive cases, Nuning said they could no longer use South Korea’s parameters to estimate the epidemic’s profile in Indonesia, as the confirmed cases here kept increasing significantly.She added that the situation could be better and the rate of infection could be suppressed.“But if our intervention methods are not effective, then the peak can shift, as Hadi explained. Everyone must work together to prevent the spread of the disease. If this doesn’t happen, then the number of cases will not decrease. The Spanish influenza pandemic killed one-third of the world’s population. Do not let that happen again.”Meanwhile, according to Panji Hadisoemarto from Padjadjaran University’s School of Medicine and a senior researcher at the university’s Center for Sustainable Development Goals Study (SDGs Center), all the mathematical modeling of COVID-19 made by scientists was meant to provide the government with reliable information to estimate the disease’s transmission impacts and evaluate the effectivity of mitigation efforts currently being used.“We have to make sure that intervention is effective and enforced; [the government should give] more than just a recommendation. And the faster the intervention, the better.”Arya Dipa contributed to this story from BandungEditor’s note: An earlier version of this article contained an error on the figure from the group of researchers in ITB. The figure has been corrected to 8,000, not 800,000 as previously stated.Topics : If the Indonesian authorities failed to take drastic measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the country could have tens of thousands of cases by April, or shortly before Idul the Fitri holiday, scientists have warned.  Disease surveillance and biostatistics researcher Iqbal Ridzi Fahdri Elyazar and his team at the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU) have used the geometric sequence method to see, “how much time it would take for the number of cases to double in Indonesia”.Based on their calculations, Indonesia could be grappling with up to 71,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of April. Iqbal and his team noted that the doubling time for Italy and Iran, which currently have the highest COVID-19 death toll, was five and seven days, respectively. The doubling time, they added, would be longer for countries that have taken a rigorous approach to contain the outbreak. South Korea, for example, had a doubling time of 13 days and China 33 days.For Indonesia, the number of COVID-19 cases doubled in three days, jumping from 172 positive diagnoses on March 17 to 369 on Friday.“The shorter the doubling time, the more dangerous it is,” Iqbal told The Jakarta Post on Friday.The team decided to use Italy’s and Iran’s doubling times to map the possible exponential rate in Indonesia. By using this geometric sequence, it found that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases could reach between 11,000 and 71,000 by the end of April.last_img read more

Corcoran: Texas memories not all tarnished with Final Four setback

first_imgThe powers that be said everything was bigger in Texas. After going to Texas for the Final Four last weekend, I don’t know who the hell the powers that be are, but they’ve clearly never been trapped in a car for 30 hours in pursuit of hoop dreams.Everything was going swimmingly until the time came to leave for the Lone Star State. It was 4 o’clock last Thursday afternoon, and I was sitting on a futon that’s got a wooden board in the middle and a war zone of springs on either side. Needless to say, it was not the most comfortable piece of furniture, but hey, it’s college, right? So I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for my gallant chauffeur Spencer Smith, sports editor extraordinaire, to show up, but he’s running a little behind schedule with the rental car.Actually, to rewind a little, everything hadn’t been going swimmingly. The rent-a-car debacle was my fault in the first place. Earlier in the week, I had promised that I could use my Mom’s minivan for the trip but had neglected to actually ask her permission until Tuesday night. Whoops. So naturally she told me I couldn’t use the van and I had to embarrassingly explain the situation to Spencer and the rest of Herald management gang. So, long story short, last minute we had to arrange for a rental car.But after enough stress to shorten my life by at least 10 years, we were finally on the road. I’ll skip through the brief trips to pick up our photographer Joey and grab some snacks at the grocery store to the most exciting part of the trip: Illinois. Thankfully, we only had to endure the barren wasteland for only two hours of daylight before the dark sky covered up all the disgusting blemishes and terribly flat landscape.Some 13 and a half hours and no sleep later, we had reached our destination of Arlington, Texas, although perhaps it was just a hallucination. More than anything I wanted to check into our hotel so I could sleep, but after dropping by they told Spencer we could not check in until 3 p.m. That hotel looked like a shit box anyway, so we used that opportunity to back out of the reservation and get a new hotel — well, after we chowed down on a fine All-American breakfast at Denny’s, that is. At Denny’s my intense hope for southern hospitality came true — our waitress was easily the most caring soul I had met so far in Texas. So what if she was the first person I had met?Since we were stuck in Arlington without a hotel to stay in until the afternoon, our waitress directed us to a local YMCA so that we could shower and at least reclaim a slight sense of dignity. When we entered the YMCA, we were greeted by perhaps the next nicest Texan, who was working the front desk. After filling out a sheet for a day pass, she didn’t even require us to pay a fee, and we went to the locker room where we decided we needed a little physical exercise. To the basketball court we went. I got demolished in a game of 21, and the lone bright spot was that same lovely lady bringing us cold waters unannounced. What a gem.Having exercised and showered, we made our way to our destination, AT&T Stadium, so Spencer and Joey could cover Friday’s practice. While they did their thing, I tried to break into forbidden sections but was repeatedly denied, so I settled on a spot in the corner on the first level of the humongous heaven where I remained for four hours without food or rest.Let’s skip ahead to the next day and the Final Four tailgate. I was required to do work, so I put myself on the line and interviewed multiple fans on camera to put on the Herald site. I even interviewed Chancellor Rebecca Blank, but due to technical difficulties, the videos never saw the light of day. Oh man, was I disappointed.But now it was time to finally be a fan. I soaked up the band’s performance and the rest of the tailgate. Then, because I had dirtied my only Badger shirt doing “exercise,” I went with my two non-Herald friends to their hotel to grab one of their shirts. I was ready to go and show my unwavering school pride. We stopped at In-n-Out Burger. Best decision I’ve ever made. I was ready and raring to go for the game.After we wound through the droves of fans upon entering Jerry World, we found out we couldn’t take our seats until the first semifinal was over. In the meantime, we congregated with the other Badger fans and erupted into many spontaneous cheers—such school pride, much noise.When we finally meandered to our seats, I realized why they were so cheap. I couldn’t see anything. But no matter, I was surrounded by my Badger brethren. Throughout the game, although its outcome was devastating, I don’t think I stopped reveling in the big stage for a moment — well, maybe a few to drink some water. Over the course of three hours I high-fived, I jumped with joy, I screamed until I blew a blood vessel in my eye and I probably met the love of my life, although I never found out her name.Sure, Wisconsin came up short, but to be perfectly sentimental, I don’t know if I have ever experienced a game as exciting as that one, even though I watched most of it on the ludicrously over-sized scoreboard. The loss crushed me more than any I have experienced in 19 years as a Badger fan, maybe because I had emptied my wallet to be in Arlington. I was a heartbroken little boy that night, but I would suffer through the 30-hour drive, lack of sleep and troubling defeat if it means going back to the Final Four. Even if I never get married and have a first dance, at least I went to the Big Dance.Dan is currently a sophomore at UW but still has yet to declare a major. Do you see a future for him as a travel journalist or do you have a Final Four story you’d like to share? Give Dan the lowdown by emailing him at [email protected] or shooting him a tweet @DanCoco7.last_img read more