COVID-19 National Task Force to Coordinate with Regional Governments on ‘New Normal’ Implementation
Date 28 Mei 2020
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed the Task Force to coordinate and communicate with all levels of regional governmentsregarding the ‘New Normal’ implementation, Chairperson of the COVID-19 National Task Force Doni Monardo has said.
“This aims to provide opportunities for several regions to reopening certain sectors gradually,” Doni said during a press conference on Wednesday (27/5).
He went on to say that the new normal procedures for regions will be determined by the latest condition in the regions.
Previously, Doni cited a statement from Minister of National Development Planning (PPN)/Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) saying that the existing data is volatile so that if a new case occurs in the regions, the Government will re-impose restrictions.
“The Government prioritizes people’s safety,” Doni said, adding that the President asked for a strict health protocol regarding the new normal implementation.
“People must stay productive but remain safe from COVID-19. Thus, various measures and efforts have been made in the last few months, especially since COVID-19 handling began on 13 March 2020,” Doni added.
According to him, the President has instructed to deploy personnel of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian National Police (Polri) at crowded places in 4 provinces and 25 regencies/cities to monitor the public during the imposition of large-scale social restrictions using communicative approach.
“The presence of the TNI and Polri personnel in public places does not aims to cause confusion and fear, but to remind the public to follow health protocols,” Doni stated.
He also said that Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs has stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is not ended yet.
“We have no idea how long COVID-19 will be on earth, we cannot predict. Therefore, we should brace ourselves to fight back,” Doni said.
Therefore, he added, we should be able to adapt with this situation and continue to remain safe from the virus, but also should be able to do activities.
On the return flow of Eid al-Fitr holiday, Doni said that Minister of Transportation reported that prevention measures to control the return flow have been taken in order to prevent second wave of COVID-19 in certain cities, especially Greater Jakarta (Jabodetabek).
“We have seen data from Jakarta administration that shows significant progress. If there are still many positive confirmed cases, it includes migrant workers returning from abroad that reach 539 cases,” Doni stated.
“Our COVID-19 dedicated bed occupancy ratio (BOR) in Jakarta has dropped to 46.9 percent from 54.3 percent. This means that the number of beds in the COVID-19 referral hospital areas has been below 50 percent,” Doni explained.
Doni further said that a number of provincial and regency/city task forces together with personnel of TNI and Polri are deployed in Java Island, including in Lampung province, especially Bakauheni Port to control and remind the travelers between regions and cities to show their written permits.
“All traveling individuals should have a business trip permit and a negative result of a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or rapid test,” Doni said.
Those who cannot show the document, he added, will be prohibited to continue their travel, be it by land, sea, or air.
On that occasion, Doni also said that the President has ordered the Task Force to provide full support to the East Java administration.
“The Task Force had departed to East Java a few days ago, considering that several cases in this province, including in Surabaya have increased significantly. This morning, one unit of mobile Biosafety Level-2 (BSL-2) laboratory arrived at 05.30 and at 08.30 a.m. local time,” Doni stated.
He added that the Task Force will also assist East Java administration to establish emergency hospital, Surabaya Training Center, and lapangan Indrapura hospital.
“These additional emergency hospitals are expected to be able to provide adequate treatment for patients,” he said.
Minister of Health, he added, has reported to the President regarding incentives for healthcare workers that have been distributed on 22 May 2020. The Health Ministry is very careful with data collection of healthcare workers so that names of incentives’ recipients will be accurate. Thus, the budget for incentives can be accounted for.
Minister of Home Affairs, Doni continued, has also reported to the President the important roles of regions in suppressing the number of cases that occur daily and weekly.
“We will give a reward so that every region will improve their discipline and mutual awareness. Therefore, all regions can move together to reduce COVID-19 cases,” he added.
Doni further explained that there are two criteria for reopening the regions; first, regions with zero COVID-19 cases.
“There are 110 regencies/cities that consist of 87 land areas and 23 islands areas, except Papua province. As many as 87 regencies/cities will be offered to open their areas, including 65 land areas and 22 islands areas,” he said.
On that occasion, Doni also said that there are a number of isolated areas that remain safe from COVID-19, including areas that are rarely visited.
“There are green zone areas that have COVID-19 cases, but the number of cases has declined in the last few weeks,” he said.
In accordance with the standards set by the World Health Organization, Doni stated that other criteria will be public health issues, including epidemiology, public health surveillance, and health service system.
“First, there is a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases that reach up to 50 percent in two weeks. Second, there is also a decrease in the number of patients under treatment (ODP) and people under surveillance (PDP) cases that reach up to 50 percent, a decrease in the number of deaths of ODP and PDP cases, a decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients treated in hospital, as well as a decrease in the number ODP and PDP patients treated in hospitals,” Doni stated.
He also mentioned other improvements, including an increase in the number of recovered patients, an increase in the number of completed monitoring of ODP and PDP patients, the R0 (basic reproductive number for COVID-19) effective below 1, and the number of specimen examinations increased within two weeks.
“These are our reference points; we will continue to consult with Minister of National Development Planning and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs so that the regions which will be offered to do wider activities will also take into account their preparedness,” Doni added.
The decision to reopen the regions immediately or not will be determined by the preparedness of every region, especially the capability of the regents, mayors, and the governors.
Doni further said that according to input from Head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), regions should be able to collect data on vulnerable individuals.
“We will submit the percentage of men and women who are exposed to COVID-19 and those who died; men have a higher percentage, which is 63.30 percent, while women 36.70 percent,” he said.
He went on to say that the Task Force has called on doctors and hospital leaders in Greater Jakarta areas to remind their patients who have certain comorbidities.
“Besides saving our citizens, we can also encourage the public to resume their activities with the lowest possible risk,” he said.
According to Doni, the Task Force is still committed to work harder and be more active so that the community will not be exposed to COVID-19 and layoffs.
“We will also continue to improve health services in all regions together with Minister of Health. Those who are healthy will stay healthy, while those who are not in a good health conditions will be well-treated,” Doni concluded. (TGH/EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana