Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at a Limited Meeting (Through Video Conference) on Reports of COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee, Monday, 14 September 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 14 September 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all.
Distinguished Vice President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before the Committee (COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee) gives report, I want to mention several points of note that must be our concern.
First, I need to reiterate that in making decisions to respond to additional cases in provinces, regencies and cities, I want everyone to always look at the geographical distribution data. I have told many times to implement locally-based intervention strategies, local restrictions strategy at neighborhood units (RT/RW), villages, hamlets so that the handling can be more detailed and focus. In a province, for example, there are 20 regencies and cities, not all of them are in the red zones. Thus, the handling, of course, should not be generalized. It will also be applied in cities and regencies, not all urban village, villages, sub-districts have the same condition, there are red, green, yellow zones that requires different treatments. Therefore, once again, the locally-based intervention strategies, local restrictions strategy must be undertaken. Including the management of interventions on local and community scales. So once again, don’t rush to close an area, a city, or a regency. And, if we work based on data, the intervention measures will run more effectively, and we can immediately resolve the problem on the ground. Once again, management of handling local clusters must be improved, particularly in 8 provinces which have become our priority that I have mentioned since 2 months ago.
Second, in an effort to control COVID-19, the Government must also strive to increase recovery rate, it is really important. As of 13 September, the Indonesia’s COVID-19 active cases reached 25.02 (percent) or slightly higher (than) the global average which is at 24.78 (percent). The total number of recovered patients stood at 155,010 with a recovery rate of 71 percent, the Indonesia’s recovery rate stood at 71%, the figure is below the average global recovery rate. I think we are striving to improve the recovery rate to catch up with the global average.
Third, the Government also works hard to lower the mortality rate. Indonesia’s mortality rate continues to drop from 4.49 (percent) last month to 3.99 percent, though the figure is still above the average global mortality rate of 3.18 percent, nevertheless, the mortality rate of 3.99 (percent) indeed declined compared to last week’s rate that stood at 4.02 percent. In a more detailed look, the high mortality rate is contributed by 4 provinces with mortality rate above 6 percent; thus, detailed data is important. Therefore, we should inform the provinces about that matter and that the Central Government will give full support so it can decrease mortality rate in the provinces of Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Central Java, and East Java.
Fourth, the Government also increases the number of isolation facilities for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those showing mild symptoms. The Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital is still vacant, and can accommodate 2,581 (patients). There are still rooms for those with mild symptoms of COVID. 858 beds in tower 6 and 1,723 (beds) in tower 7. As for isolation facilities at Wisma Atlet Kemayoran Emergency Hospital there are 4,863 (vacant beds) in tower 4 and 5. I think this kind of information needs to be disseminated. In addition, Health Training Facility in Ciloto can accommodate 653 people, while several other training centers in Batam, Semarang, and Makassar are being prepared. The Government is also preparing quarantine facilities for mild patients so they will not undergo self-isolation at home which can potentially transmit the virus to their families. We have cooperate with one- and two-star hotels to provide quarantine facilities. Please disseminate that there are 15 one- and two- star hotels in Jakarta that can accommodate 3,000 (beds). We have also cooperated with several hotel groups.
Fifth, ensure the availability of beds in medical wards and Intensive Care Units (ICU) at referral hospitals for severe COVID-19 patients. I order Minister of Health to conduct audit and revision of health protocols for medical staffs and patients at hospitals. Thus, hospitals will be safe and will not be a new COVID-19 cluster.
Sixth, regarding testing, I have mentioned last week that COVID-19 testing gap across provinces must be reduced. I don’t want to see some provinces have low testing rate while the other provinces have fared well testing. For example Jakarta has conducted 324,000 tests, while East Java has only conducted 184,000 tests, Central Java 162,000 tests, West Java 144,000 tests, and tests in several other provinces were still below 100,000.
Seventh, I need to remind you all that our country is an archipelagic state, Indonesia is an archipelagic state. Therefore, good understanding about the spread of COVID-19 in crucial to tackle the pandemic in Indonesia, we cannot compare with non-archipelagic countries. For that reason, I order Minister of Health, the Task Force and the Committee to focus on handling this so that the results can be seen every week.
Eighth, improve self-discipline in following health protocols, particularly in wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing.
Last, regarding the national economic recovery, we still have time until the end of September to improve the economy, increase the people’s purchasing power and household consumption in the third quarter. Therefore, I demand that all incentive programs, cash transfers to be accelerated.
That concludes my remarks.
Translated by Rany Anjany S
Reviewed by Lulu Wuliarti