SDGs Center ITB Webinar: Measuring the Future of Covid-19 and Its Impact on Achieving SDGs

Reporter: Tarisa Putri

SDGs Center ITB held a webinar with the title “Potential of COVID-19 to become Endemic, and its Impact on Achievement of SDGs”. This event was filled by several speakers, including Dr. Azzania Fibriani as Virologist at SITH ITB, Dr. Windhu Purnomo, dr., MS as a special lecturer at the Department of Epidemology, Universitas Airlangga, Dr. Vivi Yulaswati, M.sc as Head of National Secretariat of TPB/SDGs Indonesia, and Ir, Teti Armiati Argo, MES., Ph.D as responders.

At the beginning of the event, it was opened with remarks from the Head of ITB Quality Assurance Dr.rer.nat. Poerbandono, ST., MM “ITB has many citation publications, especially in the fields of climate action and clean energy, but the products produced are not comparable to the publications that have been done. Therefore, it is hoped that through the SDGs, ITB can become the face of ITB in its sustainability roles,” he said.

This webinar was led by Dr. Ir Tirto Prakoso, M.eng as head of the SDGs center ITB. In the range of 2020-2030, the world, including Indonesia, is targeting the achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect the environment. 

However, in the process, the world was rocked by a pandemic that had a huge impact on almost all sectors, such as the economy, social, environment and education. This pandemic is also predicted to become endemic in the future. This has an impact on efforts to achieve the SDGs which are targeted to be achieved in 2030. Therefore, in this webinar, they discussed the development and potential of the SARS-CoV2 virus to become endemic and its impact on the achievement of the SDGs.

Rational Drug Design to increase drug production

The first speaker, Azzania Fibriani brought material about further introduction to the characteristics of the Corona Virus. In her presentation, she said that at this time, in carrying out the Sars-CoV2 treatment, it was already using a rational drug design based on bioinformatics which could accelerate drug production because it was assisted by computation.

This system makes it possible to pre-design the drug design according to the biological structure data owned so as to reduce the failure rate. Based on the data obtained, COVID-19 experienced an increase in mutations per genome sequence. So it does not rule out the emergence of new variants of the virus. However, the advantage of the SARS-COV2 virus compared to other viruses is that the development of new variants is slower than other viruses, thus giving researchers time to develop drugs/vaccines.

COVID-19 has the potential to become endemic in Indonesia

After knowing the characteristics of SARS-COV2 and the treatment that can be done, the discussion continued on the potential for COVID-19 to become endemic in Indonesia, which was brought by Windhu Purnomo. Endemic is a disease that will always exist in a population in a certain area.

Vaccination is a powerful weapon to stop the potential for the development of COVID-19 to become endemic in Indonesia. However, at this time vaccination cannot be expected because currently vaccination has only reached 6.09% of the population so it is still very long to reach herd immunity.

To control this, regional/individual quarantine is still very effective in suppressing the spread of the virus. Covid affects the SDGs in health development due to the emergence of fear in the community to access health centers because of the presence of virus and the government’s focus is still on vaccination and handling the pandemic.

In addition, the economic downturn also affects the quality of public health. To end the spread and mutation of a new variant of the virus, government policies and people’s behavior are very influential in its success. The 3T protocol, namely Testing, Tracing, Treatment is a basic thing that needs to be considered by all levels of society.

The impact of COVID-19 on the development of the SDGs

In her presentation, Vivi Yulaswati said that Covid had an impact on various fields, such as the emergence of economic, social and environmental risks. During the pandemic, there was an increase in internet access and cell phone ownership in all regions. This requires an increase in internet access infrastructure and social assistance for the poor. When viewed from history, Pandemic brought changes to civilization in previous centuries such as the Spanish flu pandemic. Therefore, this pandemic also has the impact of changes such as the emergence of Society 5.0

The redesign of Indonesia’s economic transformation needs to be carried out such as competitive human resources, a green economy, integration of the domestic economy, productivity of the economic sector, digital transformation, and transfer of IKN. To achieve this requires positive constructive cooperation. The pandemic carries the risk of achieving the SDGs targets, but at the same time opens opportunities for reform of various systems. The SDGs are a reference for development that is more inclusive, equitable, sustainable and resilient to future shocks.

At the end of the session, Teti Armiati gave a number of responses. “If COVID-19 becomes endemic, zoning risk maps and 3T protocols (testing, tracing, treatment) still need to be in place. At this time there has been a shift in the management of the pandemic, this can be seen from 2020 to 2021, so it is hoped that in the future there will be a pandemic recovery due to the data that is already owned. To achieve the SDGs within 9 years, it is necessary to achieve the SDGs, one of which is in the fields of science, technology and innovation (STI). To support science, there needs to be policies and support from the community.” she said.

The potential for COVID-19 to become endemic can be prevented by various efforts, such as increasing vaccinations throughout Indonesia and implementing the 3T (Testing, Tracing, Treatment) protocol. In addition, policies from the government and support from the community play an important role in stopping the pandemic and achieving the SDGs.***