Easing Restrictions Should Be Carried Out Slowly, Gradually: COVID-19 Task Force
The Government’s decision to relax large-scale social restrictions order in July should be carried out gradually, Chair of COVID-19 Handling Task Force Doni Monardo has said.
“The decision should also be followed by anticipatory measures in the Central Government level as well as in regional governments level,” Doni said Tuesday (12/5).
According to Doni, who is also Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the Government is fully aware that the relaxation order may lead to a ‘new wave’ of coronavirus in the country; thus, all stakeholders should prepare more massive testing as always reminded by the President.
“The COVID-19 Handling Task Force was given order to continue optimizing the reagent supply, including helping regions which still do not have PCR machines,” Doni explained.
Doni also pointed out that the relaxing of restrictions will be divided into four phases, namely pre-condition, timing, choosing priority sectors/regions, and coordination among central and regional government.
The pre-condition phase, he added, means that the Government will involve academics and experts in epidemiology and health, sociology, public communication, economy, religious leaders, cultural leaders, as well as community leaders to share their views and academic research.
The pre-condition phase aims to collect accurate data, particularly in the eight worst-hit provinces in the country so that the Government can design the right policies for every region, he added.
In the meantime, the timing phase means that if a region has not flattened its curve, the region will not be allowed to ease the restrictions. Another thing to consider is the level of compliance in the community to follow the Government’s order, he said.
“If the level is low, the Government should not take risks to ease the restrictions,” Doni said.
Regarding easing priorities, Doni explained that food suppliers and distributors, especially markets, restaurants, and other sectors that may carry out massive layoffs, should be given priority to reopen their business.
Regarding coordination between central and regional governments, Doni said that both parties should agree on whether or not a region can relax the restrictions.
Doni also expressed hope that all stakeholders can truly comply with the entire terms and conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic will not end soon.
“Not until we get the vaccine and medicine to cure the virus, we won’t be able to live normally. No one knows when this pandemic will end,” Doni said, adding that all the designated measures are only short, medium and long predictions that may change shortly.
“None of those predictions are really accurate as everything really depends on the development each day and each week,” Doni said.
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas