Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia At the Limited Cabinet Meeting on Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 during the Public Holidays at the end of October 2020, Monday, 19 October 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 19 Oktober 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May prosperity be upon us.
Distinguished Vice President,
Distinguished Cabinet Ministers, Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), and Chief of the Indonesian National Police.
In today’s Limited Cabinet Meeting we will discuss the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during public holiday at the end of October 2020. We had an experience with public holidays one and a half months ago, after which there was a relatively high increase (in COVID-19 cases). We need to discuss this so that the (upcoming) holidays and collective leave days will not result in the increase in COVID-19 cases.
I need to convey that, as of 18 October, the (percentage of) average active cases in Indonesia was 17.69 percent. This is lower than the global active cases which reached 22.54 (percent). This is very good, we are at 17.69 (percent) and the global rate is 22.54 (percent).
Compared to the previous month, the mortality rate in Indonesia also decreased from 3.94 (percent) to 3.45 percent. Once again, it decreased from 3.94 (percent) in last month to 3.45 (percent). The recovery rate in Indonesia is 78.84 (percent). This is also higher than the global recovery rate of 74.67 (percent). We are at 78.84 (percent) while the global rate is 74.67 (percent). I think we need to keep improving it so that we can expect COVID-19 downtrend in Indonesia.
That was about the public holidays. The second thing is related to vaccine. Do not rush the incredibly complex processes because it will affect the public opinion. If the communication is not conducted properly, the case will be the same as Job Creation Law. I hope that the vaccine will be properly prepared, including regarding public communication, especially those related to halal and haram, prices, quality, as well as the distribution process. Nevertheless, we do not have to convey everything to the public. We do not have to convey the price to the public.
The critical point of the vaccination is the implementation. Do not think that it is easy to implement it. It is not easy. The process, the first recipients of the vaccine, the reason, must be properly explained to the public. The public communication process must be prepared carefully. It must be properly prepared. The information on recipients, who will have it for free and who will have to pay for it, must be explained in detail. We must ensure that it will not become the issue and we must prevent the situation that trigger the public to hold protests. The people are currently facing the tough situation.
I need to remind you that the procurement of the vaccine must be clear. In my opinion, for free vaccine, for the public, that is domain of Minister of Health. For non-subsidized vaccine, it is domain of (Minister of) State-Owned Enterprises. It should be clear. If it’s not, it will be unclear about those who are responsible for this.
On the issues related to… It needs preparation. It needs preparation for the implementation and it needs trainings. Do not underestimate it. This is not an easy thing. Training to transport the vaccine and training to store the vaccine are needed because of the large quantities. The vaccine must get specific treatment. Each vaccine is different. (The vaccine) from G42 is different from Sinovac or from AstraZeneca. The way it is stored in cold storage is also important. We must work with the WHO in Indonesia so we can get trainings and the standards will be clear. Be careful, be careful about vaccine. This is not an easy thing. The more I learn about it, the more I believe that it is not easy.
I have got a report from Mr. Erick for AstraZeneca. The first delivery will be in April 2021 and we will get approximately 11 million (doses) per month with the total of 100 million (doses). Is it right, Mr. Erick, right? 100 million. This is what we need to know.
Once again, at this meeting I also talk about the vaccine so that the planning will be well prepared and we will not make any mistake in public communication.
I think that concludes my introductory remarks.
Translated by Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by Lulu Wuliarti