Directives of President of the Republic of Indonesia to East Java Regional Leaders Communication Forum (Forkopimda), 19 August 2021, at Ronggo Djoemeno Hall, Madiun Regency, East Java Province

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 19 Agustus 2021
Category: Directives
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

Good morning,

May peace be upon us all.

First and foremost, I want to remind all of you that COVID-19 or Corona Virus is hard to predict with any calculations. Governor of East Java earlier said that the number of the Bed Occupancy Ratio (BOR) and the active cases has decreased. However, I urge all of you to stay vigilant, to be aware of COVID-19. Do not let the mutated new variants and our negligence result in a spike in cases. I hope that the regional governments in regencies/municipalities, especially Regents, Mayors, and the ranks can stay vigilant.

Let us have a look at the daily case statistics in our country. In the beginning of February, we reached the high number of COVID-19 case. In the next month to May, the number slowed down and decreased. The falling number must be followed by economic recovery. Our economy grew more and more until the second quarter of 2021. As Governor of East Java said, the province’s economic growth stood at 7.05 percent while the national economic growth at 7.07 percent. What causes our economy to grow? Yes, the number of cases is dropping. The key to boost economic growth now is to reduce COVID-19 cases.

As of 18 May 2021, the case has been recorded to reach 3,500 cases per day. Once it was reported there were cases in Kudus (East Java), in Bangkalan (East Java) at that time, it was beyond our expectations. The early detection we recorded was in Jakarta, Indramayu (West Java), and in Medan (North Sumatra). Why was it detected in other places? Yes, because this virus is not visible. The case number can immediately jump to 56 thousand cases.

My team, who is always standby on my side said, “Mr. President, if it could not be stopped, in August 2021 the case would reach 80 thousand and September 2021 would reach 160 thousand cases. If it could not be stopped, the case in our country could be higher than that of India.”

Therefore, at that time I ordered Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) to take immediate actions to stop this (COVID-19) so that the case number will not spike to 80 thousand and 160 thousand. Once again, please be cautious.

It is my hope that all of you have to responsible for every region because East Java province has a huge population. I also order Regional TNI Commander and Regional Police Chief of East Java to order the ranks including TNI district and resort commanders, precinct police chiefs of East Java to join forces to solve these problems, especially those related to centralized isolation for COVID-19 patients. People who conduct self-isolation at home must be moved to isolation centers.

Second, regarding acceleration of vaccination. I order all Regents and Mayors to immediately administer the vaccine to the people once the vaccine supply is delivered. If the supply is not enough or vacant, please request more. This August is timely because we will receive 72 million doses of vaccine and next month we will receive 70 million more doses. Normally, in a month we only received 8 million or 10 million and for seven months we only received 68 million. It means that there were 10 million doses per month. Then, we will receive 72 million doses, 70 million doses. Please, administer them quickly. Do not let any vaccines keep in the cold storage, please utilize them immediately.

I have noticed, I have all statistics of vaccination rate in every regency and city. Based on the report, vaccination rate in East Java has reached 26.6 percent, but this percentage should be increased in August and September this year. Please, pay attention to the vaccine supply. Now, I will monitor all of the supply. I know how much stock in every regency and city, in Batu city the stock is still 19,000 doses, in Kediri city the stock is still 4,900 doses. Please, utilize them immediately. Do not let any vaccines keep in the cold storage.

Furthermore, regarding the mortality rate. Please be cautious. The rate in East Java is very high which reached 7.1 percent. Once again, this figure is very high. There are some possibilities that caused this high mortality rate, namely those who conducted self-isolation at home were late to be sent to isolation centers. Those whose oxygen saturation dropped were also late to be sent to hospital. Another reason is those with severe COVID-19 symptoms or comorbid.

Therefore, centralized isolation for COVID-19 patients is an important key. It will slow down COVID-19 transmission and curb the mortality rate. The patients taken to hospital are already in severe condition, so please keep a watchful eye on this. All Regents, Mayors, TNI district commanders, precinct police chiefs must understand this issue. Regional TNI Commander, Regional Police Chief, and Governor also must understand the issue in details.

Now, we cannot perform remote working anymore. We can no longer work from office to address this issue. In this current situation, on the ground leadership is what we need. All of you must know how many oxygen supply in the city, in the regency. All of you must know when the supply will run out, what kind of medicines are not ready or not enough. Do not let it run out or be too late to restock so that everything can be anticipated although sometimes anticipating COVID-19 is not easy. At least if we are prepared, the response will be different. This is because our population is huge. It ranks four behind the United States.

Therefore, all Regents and Mayors must monitor the BOR every day. The BOR in every region and city is now available. Every morning before work, I always monitor the figure so that we can stay vigilant. If we do not know the figure and then the virus spikes, we will be in panic. Do not let it happen.

Once again, I remind all of you. There are three things to handle COVID-19. First, move people who conduct self-isolation at home to the isolation centers. All regencies and cities must carry out this. Second, the acceleration of vaccination. The pace of vaccination is an important key. Third, medicines. Do not let the stock empty or be late to restock. Those who are already in isolation centers must be immediately given the medicines. I still hear a lot of problems that the medicines are often late to be given. If we carry out these three in earnest, inshallah, the case in East Java province will decrease.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the mutual cooperation between the Central Government and regional governments amid the pandemic. And I would like to express my appreciation to Regional TNI Command, Regional Police, TNI, Polri, the ranks, and regional governments for the collaboration. I order all Regents and Mayors to join hands with the TNI and Polri to conduct tracing and drive vaccination, so we can do our utmost to reduce and stop the spread of COVID-19.

That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion.

I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (AP/MUR)

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