A cross-university team of scientists has suggested that data provided by Indonesia’s government makes up only around 2.3 per cent of the actual amount of cases of COVID-19 in the country.
There are 1,706 positive cases of COVID-19 in Jakarta to date, according to official data.
The SimCOVID team and other various experts across multiple universities, however, estimated that there could be around 32 thousand positive cases of COVID-19 in Jakarta since the onset of the outbreak in Indonesia.
The inter-university team of scientists comprises researchers from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Universitas Padjadjaran (Unpad), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Essex and Khalifa University, the University of Southern Denmark, Oxford University, ITS, Brawijaya University, and Nusa Cendana University.
The team utilises data from 31 March in their study. At that time, government data disclosed that there were 747 positive cases of COVID-19 in Jakarta.
Local media reported an ITB epidemiology mathematic researcher as saying that Jakarta “has the highest density of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, with 315 cases for every 100 thousand population”.
There is a lot of confusion regarding the information of the pandemic in the community because the government is not being transparent in providing data.
Only on Monday (13 April) did President Joko Widodo order government staff to release the data related to the spread of COVID-19 to the public.
Now the government will open the data on the number of people under monitoring (orang dalam pemerhatian) and patients under monitoring (pasien dalam pemerhatian).
This was his response to the public’s high demand for transparency from the central government, including from regional heads, religious leaders, professional organizations, and human rights groups.
Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid said on Friday (13 March) that it is important for the public to know which “areas and places affected or exposed” so that people can mitigate the risk of transmission.
“However, it is important to remember that in fulfilling the right to information, the government must be consistent in maintaining the confidentiality of the patient’s identity,” he added.
From East Java, the functionaries of religious community organisations Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) asked the government to be more transparent about the patients of COVID-19.
Ainul Yaqin, a MUI representative, however, opined that COVID-19 is not a disgrace — thus there is no need to cover up the identities of confirmed cases.
“So what is needed now is information disclosure. Don’t cover it up,” Ainul Yaqin told Detik.
From Yogyakarta Special Region, Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X asked Mr Joko to declare areas that are in the COVID-19 red zone.
However, the Sultan said at the end of March that the government did not answer his request.
From the nation’s capital ciity, DKI Jakarta’s Governor Anies Baswedan said there were steps to control the spread of the coronavirus, including making COVID-19-related data on confirmed cases more transparent to the public.
Although it is not yet clear whether the central government will open the map of COVID-19 distribution zones, the Head of Government has at least spoken about data transparency.