Health Ministry: Gov’t Should Educate People on Covid-19

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 6 Maret 2020
Category: News
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General Secretary for Diseases Prevention and Control of Ministry of Health Achmad Yurianto talks at the Presidential Office, Jakarta (Photo: Oji/PR).

The Indonesian Government is currently facing challenges on how to educate its people to avoid panic while at the same time keep themselves safe amidst the threat of the coronavirus.

“The purpose of the health check carried by the Government is to respond to the current health emergency in the public, not a therapy for those infected. This is what we should understand. Unfortunately, the public panic is not in line with this purpose,” Health Ministry’s General Secretary for Diseases Prevention and Control Achmad Yurianto said in Jakarta, Friday (6/3).

A few people and institutions, he added, have even requested for a corona-free health certificate for those who have returned abroad.

Achmad also said that the certificate is unnecessary since the disease is hardly visible to the naked eye, adding that the physical symptom is often similar to those of the common flu, making it even harder to diagnose without lab test.

According to him, the virus is easily spread worldwide because adults mostly do not realize that they are already infected.

“Once again, this is our responsibility to inform the people of the right information and not to panic too much. This is actually not a new disease as it is similar to common flu. Only the virus strain is new,” Achmad explained.

Other thing to explain is that the covid-19 has lower mortality rate around 2-3% compared to MERS and SARS, he added.

“Our behavior has taught us how to prevent and cure common flu. Our people have also understood that those suffer from influenza should take some rest and reduce physical activity. Those steps are already correct,” Achmad said.

“Unfortunately, what people have in mind is based on false information circulated online which say that the covid-19 might be as terrible as those happen in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Thus, this is our opportunity to educate people on how to live better and healthier,” Achmad explained. (TGH/EN

Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas

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