President Jokowi Issues Directives on Handling Covid-19 Outbreak
Date 19 Maret 2020
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered the Task Force for the Acceleration of Coronavirus Handling to maintain health of the people amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus.
In a press conference after an online Limited Cabinet Meeting on Thursday (19/3), Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo, who is also a Chairperson of the Task Force, said that the President’s directive on the coronavirus outbreak is as follows:
First, the President has ordered that the people who are not in a good health condition should be treated under a self-quarantine mechanism or in the medical facilities provided. The ill patients should also be treated to get them recover.
“All of the measures are taken based on the community-based pentahelix collaboration method,” Doni said.
According to Doni, the President has also urged the people to follow the Government guidance on social distancing, which includes keeping a distance, avoiding crowds, and doing activities (studying, working, and worshiping) at home.
“The policy implementation requires self-discipline. Several countries are not ready to overcome a non-natural disaster, namely the vovid-19 Pandemic. Therefore, cooperation and awareness for helping each other are imperative,” Doni said.
Second, the President has ordered that all equipment needed for medical treatment should be immediately be provided, from home and abroad, including rapid tests kit, personal protective equipment, reagents, ventilators, facemasks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
“The President also highlighted the importance of intelligible health protocol. The protocol, including self-quarantine provision, should be obeyed,” Doni added.
Third, health services should be ready to handle unexpected situation. The measures to provide health facilities includes providing more government hospitals to treat coronavirus patients and involving the hospitals operated by the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and hospitals operated by the Indonesian National Police that have get the recommendation from Ministry of Health, as well as State-Owned Enterprise hospitals.
“Today we have three private hospitals that have obtained permits (for treating covid-19 patients). The other two hospitals will follow. The President has instructed Minister of State-Owned Enterprises and Minister of Public Works and Public Housing to prepare towers in the Wisma Atlet (for treating covid-19 patients),” Doni said, referring to the unoccupied athlete housing complex located in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, that accommodated athletes during the 2018 Asian Games.
“On the 23rd (March) or next Monday, the Wisma Atlet is expected to be ready to accommodate around 1,000 to 2,000 patients,” Doni said.
According to Doni, the Kogabwilhan (Joint Regional Defense Command) will handle patients at the Wisma Atlet because the Kogabwilhan has an experience in handling the Indonesian citizens repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan – where the outbreak was first reported – and the Indonesians Citizen repatriated from World Dream the Diamond Princess Cruise Ships.
“The Kogabwilhan will be supported by other stakeholders, especially from Ministry of Health,” Doni said, adding that a number of national figures and entrepreneurs have agreed to provide hotels in capital Jakarta and in other regions (for patient treatment) in case the facilities provided by the Government is limited.
Fourth, the President has called on the stakeholders to increase the mobilization of doctors who might later be deployed as volunteers, including medical workers, ambulance officers, and senior medical students.
“The President also highlighted maximum protection for doctors, medical personnel, hospital employees and all elements directly involved in the handling of the covid-19 outbreak. Medical devices, food and vitamins should be ready, and (the medical personnel) should have enough time to rest,” he said, adding that support from all elements of society is needed to help medical workers.
Fifth, the President also stressed the importance of the role of regional governments. Regional governments, he added, are expected to focus on education, dissemination and mitigation (of the outbreak).
“The President has also called for participation from villages and sub-district governments, including community leaders, Family Welfare Movement (PKK) and Youth Organization (Karang Taruna),” he added.
Sixth, the President has also emphasized that there should be no restrictions on the purchase of goods, especially groceries, because the national supply is still sufficient.
Seventh, the President has ordered that the State Budget and regional budgets be prioritized for the handling of covid-19 outbreak, especially for social safety net and for preventing layoffs in business sector.
“There is also a plan to issue Presidential Regulation related to the BPJS (Social Security Provider for Health). The President has also instructed the Task Force to coordinate with all stakeholders, including religious leaders, cultural figures and the press,” Doni said.
This coronavirus cases, Doni added, do not only hit Indonesia because almost all countries have now contracted the the virus.
Doni quoted Minister of Foreign Affairs who said a plan is under way from other countries to provide assistance for Indonesia, including from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and from several countries.
Doni also quoted information from Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, highlighting the importance of law enforcement for those who violate the rules set by the government. The Coordinating Minister, he added, quoted the principle of “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto,” (the safety of the people is the highest law).
“We must stay united. Let us raise our awareness to defend our country and to work together. We should improve our self-discipline and collective awareness, so we can all overcome this covid-19 threat,” Doni concluded. (FID/EN)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by: Muhammad Ersan Pamungkas