Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin of Indonesia has stated that the country is ready for a fungal outbreak similar to that depicted in the successful HBO series The Last of Us, which is based on the popular video game of the same name.
The minister spoke to the parliament in Indonesia on January 24 to discuss the show's concept of a mutant Cordyceps pandemic with its roots in Indonesia. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Indonesian government has opened four new sequencing labs to identify and detect possible virus outbreaks, and 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.
The minister said that the country's testing capacities had expanded from 800 samples per week to 2,700 samples per week and that the laboratories had been upgraded to manage this additional workload.
To sum up, "genome sequencing is vital in detecting our dangers, be it bacteria, viruses, or fungus," he said.
On January 15, HBO released the first episode of its new series The Walking Dead, which tells the story of a smuggler named Joel (Pedro Pascal) who is tasked with escorting a teenager named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the zombie-infested United States to a resistance base. The show has received high praise from fans of the videogame and new viewers.
The fungal illness that triggered the zombie apocalypse started in Jakarta, Indonesia, as seen in the second episode, which was broadcast on January 22. A scientist, portrayed by seasoned actress Christine Hakim, advised the Indonesian government to destroy the city in order to keep the virus contained.