Objective: At the end of 2019, a new pneumonia disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first spreading in Wuhan, China, and has continued to spread throughout the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared it was a pandemic. Many countries are aware of the risks of the novel coronavirus and have adopted different measures to contain the spread of the virus. However, the spread of the virus and its impact is variable across countries including Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia. This paper aims to compare and contrast the epidemics in Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia, then identify the containment strategies in these countries in order to facilitate cross-country learning.
Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods study to understand the epidemic and explain the variability of the epidemic in these three Island States.
Results: We have found that Australia and New Zealand have implemented public health measures, including good governance of the epidemics, communication, social distancing and personal hygiene measures, and provided sufficient medical services. On the contrary, these measures are either non-existent or implemented inadequately in Indonesia.
Conclusions and implications for public health: We argue that the implementation of these public health measures and provision of medical services are all necessary to control the COVID-19 epidemics in Indonesia and other countries.