President Jokowi Gives Directives on COVID-19 Handling During APKASI National Meeting
Date 26 Maret 2021
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Friday (26/03) at the State Palace inaugurated the 5th National Deliberation of the Indonesian Regency Government Association (APKASI).
On that occasion, the President expressed gratitude for the regional government’s measures in overcoming the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the health and economic sectors.
“First of all, I would like to offer my sincerest appreciation and thanks to the regents who have worked hard for the past year to serve and guide the people in tackling the pandemic, as well as to help to successfully execute the Central Government’s programs,” he said.
However, the Head of State reminded the regents that the collective work in overcoming the pandemic is not over and urged them to remain vigilant and prepared as the risk of COVID-19 transmission still exists although there has been a decrease in the number of cases.
“We must be careful. The virus is invisible. We do not know where it is, how it spreads, or what media transmit it. The only way is to remain vigilant and prepared,” he remarked.
The President added that to tackle the pandemic, T3 measures (testing, tracing, and treatment) must be intensified, adding that he always monitors the development of cases and treatments carried out in Indonesia.
“Once again, always be prepared. Carry out tests, tracing, and treatments. Test, trace, then isolate, treat. These must be done. Especially red zones, orange zones, we have to keep pushing so that they become green zones,” stressed the President.
In line with the Government’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program, the Head of State also ordered the regents to oversee and monitor the program in their respective regions, starting from distribution to vaccination.
“Once again, do oversee the vaccination program in detail. Make sure that the vaccination process is quick. Prepare the vaccinators well,” he said, adding that the regents must know the targets of vaccination in their respective region.
The President also pointed out that he continues to oversee the vaccination program, including by directly inspecting the program execution.
“Why did I came to North Halmahera, to Central Maluku, came all the way to inspect (the vaccination program)? I want to ensure that the vaccines are distributed to the regions, to know whether the distribution is late,” he stated.
For the record, to achieve herd immunity, the Government, he added, has targeted 70 percent of the population or approximately 181.5 million people to be vaccinated. The vaccination is carried out gradually. The top priority is health care workers and almost 100 percent have been vaccinated. Then, the next priority consists of senior citizens and public service workers.
To meet the needs for vaccine, the Government, according to President Jokowi, has also made efforts to acquire COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers and countries. Nevertheless, the vaccine will arrive gradually in the country, he added.
“We have booked 426 million doses of vaccine, but it comes little by little. At first, it was 7 million, then went up to 11 million, then increased again little by little. Perhaps, many doses will arrive in July or August this year. Perhaps there can be 60-70 million doses,” the President said, while ordering the regents to set priorities for vaccination targets besides health care workers, senior citizens, and public service workers.
“Do prioritize places with high interaction. Prioritize places with high mobility. For example, a market is a place with high human interaction and mobility rates. Prioritize it. Bus terminals, for example, (have) high mobility, high interaction. Prioritize it,” he said.
Furthermore, the President reminded the regents to balance COVID-19 handling with economic recovery.
“Once again, handling COVID-19 deals with economic growth of regencies / cities, provinces, or the nation. We must control the gas and brake pedals,” he stated.
The President also underscored that the reopening of the economic sector and other sectors must be done by paying attention to COVID-19 case development in the regents’ respective regions, adding that they must create policies quickly in response to the development and evaluate the implementation based on the development.
“For example, after reopening a market, COVID-19 (cases) doubled, so close it! Because if you don’t, COVID-19 (handling) will not succeed, (the number of cases) continues to increase, the economy will not grow, it keeps declining. Be careful because it is related,” he said.
For the record, the 5th National Deliberation of APKASI was held with the theme of “Reinforcing Regional Capacity in Accelerating Economic Recovery in the COVID-19 Pandemic through Collaboration with Central Government, Regional Governments, and Private Sectors with Policy Support.” The National Deliberation was carried out in a hybrid manner, a combination of an on-site and a virtual meeting.
Also attending the event were Minister of Home Affairs Muhammad Tito Karnavian, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, and Chairperson of APKASI Abdullah Azwar Annas who is also Regent of Banyuwangi. (TGH/FIA/UN) (DH/EP)