Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on a Limited Cabinet Meeting through Video Conference on COVID-19 Pandemic Handling, Monday, 11 May 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 12 Mei 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Distinguished Vice President, Ministers, and Head of Institutions.
This morning I’d like to address some issues, including speciment testing, the handling of Indonesian migrant workers arrival, and acceleration of production of medical equipment and COVID-19 medicine.
First, regarding total improvement on capacity and speed of PCR testing. I received a report stating that the capacity of PCR testing now reaches 4,000 – 5,000 samples per day. I think this is still far from the target I asked, which is 10,000 samples per day.
Data from COVID-19 Task Force shows that 104 labs have joined COVID-19 lab network. I’d like to ensure that those labs work optimally, although only 53 of them have carried out PCR testing while the remaining 51 have not started yet.
I acknowledge that the Government should take extra concern on the well-trained human resources, as well as the lack of testing tools, such as reagents for PCR, RNA and VTM. I order to finish the problems within this week.
Second, the returning of Indonesian migrant workers should be handled well. I received a report stating that in May and June, nearly 34,000 Indonesian migrant workers will end their contract. The details are: 8,900 people from East Java Province; 7,400 people from Central Java Province; 5,800 people from West Java; 4,200 people from West Nusa Tenggara; 2,800 people from North Sumatra, 1,800 people from Lampung, 500 people from Bali. Do anticipate, prepare, handle their arrival at all border points that we have been prepared and follow their movement until their respective hometowns.
For airports, the check points will be at Soekarno Hatta and Ngurah Rai Airports. For cruise crew members, the check points will be at Benoa-Bali and Tanjung Priok. For migrant workers from Malaysia, they will return via Batam and Tanjung Balai. Once again, Id like to underline that they must follow strict health protocol by using all available resources. And do prepare the quarantine places, designated hospitals for them.
Third, I received a report from Ministry of Research and Technology stating that they have succesfully developed PCR test kit, non PCR diagnostic test, ventilators, and mobile BSL2. I wish those innovations can start the mass production, so that we are no longer rely on imported goods from other countries. Hopefully in the end of May or early June, we can start the production of those equipments.
Moreover, I see significant progress on plasma testing which will be tested out massively in numerous hospitals as well as stem cell to replace damage lung tissues.
A significant progress also occurred in whole genome sequencing. That is a very crucial step towards the next steps to find a vaccine that suits our country.
I conclude my remarks here. I called on support for all those research and innovations, to speed up the permit process and connect it with industry, both State-owned Entreprises or private sector.
Translated by Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by Lulu Wuliarti