Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on the COVID-19 Task Force Report Monday, 6 April 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 6 April 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Distinguished Vice President, Cabinet Ministers, all Heads of Government Institutions.
In the Limited Cabinet Meeting this morning, I would like to listen to the report from the Chairperson of COVID-19 Task Force. First, related to Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB). We already have Regulation of Minister of Health Number 9 of 2020. Most importantly, I want to ask several things, especially the implementation of the regulation to prevent and break the chain of COVID-19 spread. Another factor is the importance of cooperation between the Central Government and regional governments. Communication between the Central Government and regional governments must always be maintained, so that all of us have one vision, have one common line in overcoming the COVID-19 problems.
Second, it is the conditional parole of inmates which is related to COVID-19. In other countries, we can see the example when Iran releases 95,000 inmates and when Brazil releases 34,000 inmates. Other countries also do the same. We have agreed last week to release inmates, because our prisons are over capacity and it is very risky in accelerating the spread of COVID-19 in our prisons. However, the inmates are not unconditionally released. Of course there are conditions, criteria, and supervision.
I just want to say that we have never talked about graft inmates in our meetings. Regarding Government Regulation Number 99 of 2012, I need to say that there is no amendment. Therefore, the release of inmates is only for general criminal inmates.
Third is related to speed. I demand that the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is prioritized for high-risk people, including medical doctors and their families, the PDP (Patients Under Treatment) and the ODP (People Under Surveillnce). The speed of examination in the laboratory should increase and we expect with that speed we can find out who has tested positive and who has tested negative. The next factor is the speed regarding the procurement and distribution of PPE (and) medical equipment needed by hospitals. We have distributed, for example, to a province, but the Province should be monitored to ensure that it has distributed the equipment to the hospitals.
The WHO has recommended that everyone should wear face mask. Therefore, I also ask that face masks should be ready and distributed to the people. We want to ensure that every citizen who leaves their house wear face mask. Previously the WHO explained that only those who are not in a good health should wear face masks, but now everyone who leaves house should wear face mask.
Fourth, it is related to the updated situations in other countries. It needs to be disseminated to the public so that the public know that currently 207 countries have been affected. Someone should disseminate the information, maybe not from us but the information about the 10 countries with the highest cases should be disseminated. In the United States there are 305,000 (cases of COVID-19), Italy has 119,000 cases, Spain has 117,000 cases, Germany has 85,000 cases, China has 82,000 cases, France has 63,000 cases, Iran has 53,000 cases, Britain has 38,000 cases, Turkey has 20,000 cases, and Switzerland has 19,000 cases. We should keep in mind that the disease does not only occur in Indonesia but also occur in 207 countries.
The cases that I have mentioned occur in the 10 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. The information should be disseminated every day or every two days.
Fifth, I demand the updated data on the percentage of Regencies, Provinces and Cities that have carried out budget reallocation and budget refocusing. This is very important, especially related to social safety net to ensure that they can be distributed immediately to the people.
I think that concludes my introductory remarks in this auspicious occasion.
Translated by : Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by : Yuyu Mulyani