Addressing the Indonesian parliament on January 24, the minister addressed the show’s premise of a mutated Cordyceps pandemic that originated in Indonesia. “So now there is a movie on HBO Asia about a global outbreak of fungus-related disease that began in Jakarta, and indeed, the next pandemic could be caused by fungi,” he began, adding that since the coronavirus pandemic began, the Indonesian government has opened four new sequencing labs to identify and detect possible virus outbreaks.
The labs have also been equipped to handle a much higher workload as compared to pre-pandemic times, with the minister asserting that the country’s testing capabilities had increased from 800 samples per week to 2,700 samples per week.
“Genome sequencing is essential in identifying our threats, be it bacteria, viruses, or fungi,” he concluded.
The new HBO series has received high praise from fans of the videogame and new viewers with the release of its debut episode on January 15, which begins the tale of a smuggler named Joel (Pedro Pascal) who is tasked with escorting a teenager called Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the zombie-infested United States to a resistance base.
The second episode, which aired on January 22, revealed that the fungal infection that caused the zombie pandemic originated in Jakarta, Indonesia, with a scientist played by veteran actress Christine Hakim advising the Indonesian government to bomb the city in order to keep the virus contained.