COVID-19 Committee: Gov’t Continues to Take Steps in COVID-19 Handling
Date 24 September 2020
The Government continues to strengthen efforts and take strategic measures to handle and anticipate the spread of COVID-19.
“Various strategic measures have been taken as a result of coordination with ministries and institutions, especially with Ministry of Health and regional governments. Those measures include increasing specimen testing, preparing and increasing the availability of beds in hospitals and isolation rooms, improving standards of patient handling and increasing supply of drugs, as well as accelerating the availability of vaccine,” said Chief Executive of the Working Committee for COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery (KPCPEN) Erick Thohir in Jakarta, Thursday (24/9).
Until now, those steps have shown positive results. As of Wednesday (23/9), daily COVID-19 specimen testing reached 38,181, exceeding the WHO standards, and the recovery rate reached 73%.
The next measure is to increase the recovery rate and anticipate new cases. “The Government ensures that treatment for COVID-19 patients at referral hospitals are maintained and isolation facilities are available for patients with mild or no symptoms. For example, Athletes Village or hotels for Jakarta area. At the same time, this will lighten the burden on the hospitals and medical workers. What is also important is to limit the spread of the virus and transmission from people with no symptom,” Erick added.
In addition, the Working Committee has coordinated with state-owned hospitals to encourage the standardization of healing therapy for COVID-19 patients. “Standardization of clinical management in healing therapy for COVID-19 patients is important so that all doctors can follow the standardized medical procedures and have referrals in treating the patients, whether they have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. This is for the sake of improving patients’ recovery,” Erick continued.
In the pharmaceutical sector, the KPCPEN encourages the ability of domestic pharmaceutical companies to provide medical devices and essential medicines for COVID-19 patients. Some antiviral drugs that are needed to treat patients are still imported, such as remdesivir, but two national pharmaceutical companies, Indofarma and Kimia Farma, are currently working to produce local antiviral drugs.
Currently, Indofarma can produce the antiviral oseltamivir which was previously imported. Meanwhile, Kimia Farma is ready to produce favipiravir and is currently processing registration with the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM).
Meanwhile regarding COVID-19 vaccine, the Government continues to accelerate the availability of vaccines through bilateral and multilateral channels. In addition to the collaboration between state-owned pharmacy company Biofarma and Chinese Sinovac, or Kimia Farma with UEA’s G42, as well as exploring partnerships with Genexine, CanSino, and AstraZeneca, the Government is exploring partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies, namely Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Novafax.
“In addition to that, the Government has also established multilateral cooperation mechanism with the UNICEF under the COVAX Facility, that guarantees the speed, availability and delivery of vaccines. To that end, our efforts to speed up the availability of vaccines to protect the public are on the right track,” added Erick.
He also expressed belief that the spirit of mutual cooperation from all parties would be a great asset to fight the pandemic. Erick continues to remind all levels of society to continue to be disciplined in wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining distance, to prevent potential transmission.
“While the Government is striving to serve the community and handle this pandemic, we hope that the public can give support by enforcing discipline in implementing health protocols,” said Erick. (Public Communications Team of KPCPEN)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana