President Jokowi Calls for Intensifying Rapid Test to Meet WHO Standards
Date 5 Juni 2020
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called for intensifying rapid test so that Indonesia can immediately comply with standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“However, it does not mean what we have done is not significant. We intensify the test so we can make right decisions,” Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said after a limited meeting, on Thursday (4/6).
According to the WHO’s standard, he added, Indonesia ideally must conduct 30,000 tests per day based on the number of population.
“To meet the number, we need to complete testing 20,000 tests first. In order to do so, the tracing must be intensified. Previously, from the tracing, we only tested one fifth of the total tracing number,” he said adding that we must conduct massive tracing to each confirmed case.
The Coordinating Minister went on to say that it is necessary to involve volunteers from various background such as final-year students of midwifery and nursery, as well as public health graduates. Graduates from master of microbiology and public health must also be involved to help the testing.
“The volunteers will ease the work burden of laboratory workers. In order to optimize the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines, it requires more workers who work in shift for almost 24 hours a day,” he said adding that it will lower error rate due to work overload.
On that occasion, he also mentioned that the Government will extend the period of social assistance programs until December this year, but the amount given to each beneficiary will be cut from Rp600,000 to Rp300,000 per month in July to December.
In addition, he added, Ministry of Social Affairs is reviewing the input of changing the form of social assistance from staple food packages into cash transfer.
“The Government cut the amount (of social assistance program) to decrease dependency on social assistance programs ahead of ‘new normal’ period or when activities particularly in labor-intensive sector and other business sectors resumed because of the relaxation of Large-scale Social Restrictions (PSBB),” he stated.
According to him, the PSBB will be relaxed simultaneously in order to increase the productivity. In line with that, social assistance programs will also be reduced to prepare the people towards the new normal.
He went on to say that distribution of the first batch of social assistance programs throughout the country has reached 90 percent. The programs cover Cash Transfer Assistance to Villages, Cash Social Assistance, and staple food packages for Greater Jakarta area.
“In Greater Jakarta alone, the program has entered its fourth batch. Hopefully, it can reduce the burden of lower-class people who needed it the most,” he concluded. (MAY/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana