Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) On Report from COVID-19 Task Force 19 March 2020, The Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 19 Maret 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Distinguished Vice President,
Distinguished Coordinating Ministers,
and Head of State Institutions,
This morning, we will listen to the reports on measures to speed up the handling of the coronavirus or COVID-19 led by Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
However, let me first reiterate several points of note.
First, our priority is to prevent the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19. Therefore, it is imperative to reduce people mobility from one place to another. We also continue our social distancing campaign and the campaign to avoid crowds that can carry the risks of spreading COVID-19.
These three matters are important. We will continue to repeat this call.
Once again, reducing people mobility from one place to another, practicing social distancing, and avoiding crowds that carry the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Therefore, we have to continue promoting the campaign to stay at home, to work from home, and to worship from home so these measures can be effectively implemented on the ground.
Nonetheless, we must also realize that those who do not work at home will continue to work on the ground and at the offices by still keeping distance from one another.
Studying at home, working from home, and worshipping at home should not be treated as an opportunity for vacation.
I learned on Saturday and Sunday last weekend in the Carita Beach and in the tourist area of Puncak in Bogor, it was more crowded than in normal days and the crowd could bring risks of spreading COVID-19 even further.
I also order the practice of social distancing in public places, including inside public transports as well as in airports, seaports, train stations, and bus stations to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, I also order the Task Force to join hands with religious institutions and religious figures to slow down the spread of COVID-19 during religious events.
We have to evaluate the organizing of religious events that involve a large number of people.
We also have to immediately carry out rapid tests with a bigger coverage so that we can do early detection to those who might be exposed to the virus.
I also want that we continue increasing the number of rapid test kits, places to carry out the test and involve hospitals – be it government hospitals, state-owned enterprises hospitals, regional government, hospitals owned by the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), hospitals owned by the Indonesian National Police, and private hospitals, as well as research institutions and higher institutions that are recommended by Ministry of Health.
Third, do prepare a clear, simple and easy to understand health protocol.
This is very important because through the result of the rapid tests, we can find out whether someone has to carry out self-isolation or need medical assistance at the hospital.
Once again, we have to make this health protocol clear.
Fourth, prepare a contingency plan in terms of the readiness of hospitals, be it referral hospitals that have been appointed or other hospitals including state-owned hospitals, those owned by the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI)/ the Indonesian National Police (Polri), private hospitals, and also emergency hospitals if necessary.
And should the need arise, we can use Wisma Atlet (athlete village) in Kemayoran, which has quite a big capacity.
If I am not mistaken, it has the capacity of 15,000 people. We can also utilize our state-owned enterprises hotels.
We also have to prepare this contingency plan in the regions, including to speed up the construction of a hospital in the island of Galang in Riau Islands province.
Fifth, I also want maximum protection for doctors, medical workers, and other health professionals at hospitals who treat patients infected with COVID-19.
Make sure that personal protective equipment (PPE) are available for them because they are at the forefront so they must be protected and must not exposed by COVID-19.
I also order Minister of Finance to provide incentives for doctors, medical workers, and other health professionals involved in the handling of this COVID-19 outbreak.
Sixth, make sure the availability of medical equipment such as face masks, hand sanitizer. We have to temporarily stop export of face masks and medical equipment needed this time.
We have to ensure adequacy of domestic supply. We also have to make sure that raw materials to produce medical equipment needed to face this situation are also available.
Lastly, make sure the availability of staple food needed by the people as well stability of the prices.
Yesterday, I carried out an inspection at the State Logistics Agency (Bulog). I found out that our supply is more than enough.
And I suppose that the harvest season will begin March and April in many regions, thus Bulog has to regulate the distribution.
I have also ordered Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and related ministries to immediately provide economic incentives, especially for business players, more especially for micro, small, and medium enterprises (UMKM) players hit by economic impacts of the spread of COVID-19.
Although we have launched the campaign to reduce interaction, I order business players and UMKM players to make the most of online services.
And that concludes my statement.
Now I would like to invite Chairman of the Task Force to have the floor.