COVID-19 daily cases in Indonesia will continue to climb due to the omicron variant’s transmission, approaching the delta variant’s peak in mid-2021. The daily adding positive confirmation of 55,209 cases on February 13, 2022. According to WHO (2022), the omicron variant has higher infection rates but a mortality rate lower than a delta variant. The Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control of The Health Ministry Indonesia predicted the peak of the COVID-19 variant omicron case in early March 2022. Therefore, communities need to increase preventive measures in the COVID -19 infection by guarding medical protocol, performing booster vaccinations, and increasing body immunity.
Efforts to increase the body’s immunity are among the primary protections to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. To boost immunity, communities can apply the four pillars of balanced nutrition guidelines or “Pedoman Gizi Seimbang” (PGS). The first principle is to eat a varied and balanced diet. Eating a variety of foods aims to meet all the nutritional needs needed by the body to ensure growth and maintain health. The ministry of health Indonesia has guided in filling nutrients improperly with “Isi Piringku”. The portion of food should consist of carbohydrates as a source of energy, side dishes as a source of protein, fruits and vegetables as a source of vitamins and minerals. Daily consumption recommended in “Isi Piringku” consists of 3-4 servings of carbohydrate, 2-3 servings of side dishes, 3-4 servings of vegetables, and 2-3 servings of fruits. Meeting the consumption of various vegetables and fruits may provide a source of vitamins (A, C, E, and B) and minerals (Se, Fe, and Zn) that act as antioxidants and increase body immunity. On the other hand, people are also encouraged to limit consumption of sugar (4 tbsp), salt (1 tsp), and oil (5 tbsp) in one day.
The third concept was to engage in physical activity and exercise regularly. Physical activity is defined as any skeletal muscle movement that needs energy expenditure. Physical activity includes activities performed at work, leisure time, and everyday life. Exercise is a type of physical exercise that is calculated, regulated, and done to maintain fitness. The ministry of health Indonesia recommends that physical activity be carried out at least 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day with a moderate intensity of three to five times a week. A moderate-intensity (about 30 minutes) regularly benefits the body’s immune defenses, especially in adults (Simpson, et al., 2020). This is appropriate with the third principle of PGS to maintaining ideal body weight. Normal weight is one indicator of the achieving balance of the body’s nutrients for adults. Routine or no weight can be seen from the body mass index (BMI). Maintaining an ideal body weight can prevent disease and improve quality of life.
The last principle is to apply clean and healthy living behavior to avoid infectious diseases. Clean and healthy living behavior is carried out because of personal awareness, which includes taking care of the body, maintaining a clean environment, washing hands, and maintaining health. The application of this principle is in line with efforts to tighten health protocols. Therefore, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, it is necessary to apply 3M (using the mask, maintaining distance, and washing hands with soap).
- Kementrian Kesehatan RI. 2022. Pasien Positif COVID-19. Tersedia pada: https://kemkes.go.id/. Diakses pada: 14 Februari 2022
- Kementrian Kesehatan 2014. Pedoman Gizi Seimbang. Jakarta : Direktur Jenderal Bina Gizi dan KIA Kemenkes RI.
- Simpson RJ, Campbell JP, Gleeson M, Krüger K, Nieman DC, Pyne DB, Turner JE, Walsh NP. Can exercise affect immune function to increase susceptibility to infection? Exerc Immunol Rev. 2020;26:8-22. PMID: 32139352.
- World Health Organization. Jan 2022. Update on COVID-19: Omicron wave threatening to overcome health workforce. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/sections/statements/2022/statement-update-on-covid-19-omicron-wave-threatening-to-overcome-health-workforce. Diakses pada: 14 Februari 2022.