BREAKING NEWS! Harvard Researchers Stands By Research That Queries Indonesia's Claim To Be Coronavirus-Free And Underreporting In Many Asean Countries.
World leading epidemiology expert, Harvard University’s Professor Dr Marc Lipsitch and his team had earlier published a study that reported about the possibility of the world’s fourth most populous country, Indonesia having missed cases of coronavirus
infected individuals. The report was meant to create awareness of the possibility of not detecting certain types of coronavirus
spread that could be detrimental to any country.
However, Indonesian authorities reacted in a negative manner toward the report calling it insulting and even questioned Harvard University’s credentials and that of Professor Lipstich.
The Harvard academic has defended research suggesting a possible underreporting of coronavirus
cases in Indonesia, following fierce criticism from the health minister in the world’s fourth most populous country, which insists it has no cases.
Professor Dr Lipsitch analysed air traffic out of the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak in China and suggested in a report last week that Indonesia might have missed cases. On Tuesday the Indonesian health minister Terawan Agus Putranto called the report “insulting” and said the country had proper testing equipment.
However on Thursday, health officials in Indonesia, which has a population of 272 million and is a popular destination for Chinese tourists, said they were retracing the movements of a Chinese tourist who was diagnosed with coronavirus
upon his return from Bali. No-one in Bali has yet been found with symptoms.
WHO or the World Health Organization said earlier this month it was particularly concerned about high-risk nations with weaker health systems that may lack the facilities to identify cases.
Professor Dr Lipsitch, from the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, co-authored a paper that found several locations including Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand where the number of cases were below the levels expected.
Professot Dr Lipstich commented, “We stand by our research. I certainly do not intend it as an insult to any country or person. The role of public health is to spot potential problems and to point them out.”
Professor Dr Lipstich added, said three unlinked cases in neighbouring Singapore which is an “expert” country at contact tracing, had even increased concern similar transmission was happening under the radar elsewhere.
Reference: Using predicted imports of 2019-nCoV cases to determine locations that may not be identifying all imported cases, M De Salazar, Niehus, ProfileAimee Taylor, O Buckee,Marc Lipsitch
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