COVID-19 Control during Regional Elections Requires Joint Efforts from All Sides
Date 10 September 2020
Ahead of the 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections (Pilkada), COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee stressed on the importance to join hands and uphold health protocols during the simultaneous elections.
On the launching of mandatory mask wearing operation and the 2020 Safe, Peaceful, and Healthy Regional Elections on Thursday (10/9), Minister of State-owned Enterprises Erick Thohir as Head of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee asserted that the Government is striving to push down the infection and fatality rate of COVID-19.
He said that it is a common responsibility of all parties, including the General Elections Commission (KPU), the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), and candidates of the elections.
“Please ensure that the success in organizing the elections must not become a failure in COVID-19 handling. Our works will go in vain if the elections are well-organized but we cannot handle the virus,” the Minister said.
He also called on the elections candidates to support the Government’s efforts in controlling fatality rate during the elections. Indonesia’s fatality rate, which was recorded at 9 percent in April, climbed down to 4 percent in August, yet the rate is still among the highest compared to other countries.
“COVID-19 has brought great loss for all of us; children lost their parents, parents lost their children, husbands lost wives and the other way around. From the country’s perspective, we have lost our best citizens, scholars, medical staff who cannot be replaced,” he added.
Therefore, Central and Regional Governments along with the public must join hands to control COVID-19 and increase recovery rate. “It is not easy but with joining our hands, I believe we can do it,” he said adding that mask wearing operation will be enforced by involving the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Polri) personnel, the KPU, Bawaslu, religious figures, including the public to ensure that mask wearing protocol is implemented in villages and districts throughout Indonesia.
This measure is taken to respond to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s directives. The President said that 83,000 villages and districts in this country are at the forefront of COVID-19 handling. Thus, Regional Governments must cooperate with the Central Government and also the Committee to prioritize health sector.
“The Committee’s priorities are in this following sequences; Healthy Indonesia, Working Indonesia, and Growing Indonesia. The first priority is Healthy Indonesia because we cannot work if we are not healthy, and if we cannot work, (the economy) will not grow,” he explained.
To that, the Central and Regional Governments will ensure that asymptomatic carriers (OTG) who cannot do self-isolation to be referred to health facilities such as Wisma Atlet (Athlete Village) Emergency Hospital in Jakarta.
“Thus, the doctors, nurses, medical staff will not be overwhelmed. All hospitals can help the handling of COVID-19 by prioritizing those showing symptoms,” he concluded. (Communidation Team of COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana