Directives of President of the Republic of Indonesia During a Visit to the COVID-19 Task Force Office Wednesday, 10 June 2020 at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Office, Jakarta
Date 10 Juni 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to extend my highest gratitude and appreciation to personnel of the COVID-19 Task Force, be it at the central and regional levels, villages, neighboring unit (RT) or community unit (RW) levels, and also to all medical workers, doctors, nurses, volunteers, as well as personnel of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) and the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) who have worked around the clock in the handling of COVID-19 pandemic.
I would also like to remind you all that our Herculean task is not over yet. The disease still poses a threat and the circumstance is still dynamic. There are regions where the number of new cases has dropped, but there are also others where the number has increased. There are also regions that see zero cases. Let me remind you that we must anticipate the second wave. This is what I want to remind all of us.
The current situation will continue to persist until the vaccine is found and effectively used. Once the vaccine is found, there must still be clinical trials, field tests and it takes time to mass produce the vaccine. Therefore, we must adapt to the new normal and we must not give up nor lose hope. Everyone must start with new habits in accordance with health protocols so the public can remain productive and also safe from the transmission of COVID-19.
The new normal protocols must be carefully followed based on data and field facts, as doctor Dewi has said earlier. The data is complete. I also order that regions with highest number of cases or deaths be monitored so that all regions have the same precautions in handling the pandemic on the ground. The Government has also adopted comprehensive scientific-based indicators in compliance with World Health Organization standards to analyze data from the regions. Earlier, Prof. Wiku, doctor Dewi explained that there are regencies with a green zone without any cases, a yellow zone is a region with a small risk, an orange zone is a region with a moderate risk, and a red zone a region with a high risk.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I also call for strict and cautious protocols in the opening of regions during the new normal in order to stay productive and safe from COVID-19. Let me remind you that improper implementation of strict protocols can lead to a rise in new cases in an area.
First, strict implementation of preconditions is needed. Dissemination to the public to wear face masks, to keep a safe distance, to wash hands, to avoid crowds is of utmost importance. I am of the opinion that if we consistently remind the public and simulations are carried out, public awareness and discipline can be built amid the new normal. This is the preconditions that we have prepared so we always wear face masks, keep a safe distance, frequently wash our hands, avoid crowds, and boost immunity with discipline. I suppose we must continue to disseminate this to the public. I have also ordered the Polri Chief and the TNI Commander to deploy its officials in crowded areas to remind the public to comply with health protocols.
Second, regarding time for making a decision. This is important. The calculation must be based on the existing data and facts on the ground. I would also like to remind regional heads concerning implementation of the new normal in the regions and to discuss it with the Task Force Chairperson and take into account thorough calculations based on data and field facts. We must bear in mind the development of epidemiological data, particularly the R0 and Rt figures as well as pay attention to the level of community compliance, ensure that the area is ready or not. I have also raised the issue on several occasions to calculate the readiness of the regions in conducting massive tests, aggressive tracking, and their existing health facilities. We must take those issues into account.
Third, we must set a priority. We will not open all sectors at once. We will open it gradually as some regions have already implemented and an evaluation will be made. For example, preparation for opening places of worship by adhering to health protocols. As for economic sector, sectors with low COVID-19 transmission but have high economic impacts will also be prioritized such as agriculture, livestock, plantation, fishery, manufacturing, construction, logistics, goods distribution, mining, petroleum sectors. I think this has been explained by the Task Force Chairperson so this also becomes our concerns.
Fourth, I also order strengthened consolidation and coordination between the Central Government and regional governments, including the villages, neighboring unit (RT) and community unit (RW) levels as well regional leadership communication forum (Forkopimda). Equally important is how to get all elements of the society involved in a mutual work and synergy in addressing this issue.
Fifth, control and evaluation must be in place on a regular basis. Once again, although the number of new cases in a region has dropped, do stay vigilant given that the circumstance remains dynamic. The success of COVID-19 handling is very much determined by discipline and implementation of health protocols. I need to say this, if a rise in new cases occurs, we will immediately re-tighten the implementation of social restrictions or re-shutter some activities again. I think the Task Force Chairperson, Prof. Wiku, and doctor Dewi have already explained about what we must do based on the existing data. We must be optimistic that we can tackle those challenges in the shortest possible time so we can resume our activities.
And that concludes my statement on this auspicious occasion. For those on duty, keep up your spirit. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala the Almighty God always protect us all.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Translated by: Muhardi
Reviewed by: Muhammad Ersan Pamungkas