PRESIDENT Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered the national Covid-19 and economic recovery committee to come up with a final plan for nationwide coronavirus vaccination within the next two weeks.
“I demand that a detailed plan be ready within two weeks. (It should comprise) the commencement date, the location, who will perform (the vaccination) and who will be vaccinated,” Jokowi said during the opening of a Cabinet meeting.
He asserted the importance of creating a comprehensive plan as soon as possible.
“So that whenever a vaccine is ready, we can directly carry out (vaccination) in the field.”
Indonesia is currently in the process of clinical trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech in partnership with its Indonesian state-owned peer Bio Farma.
The late-stage human trials involving some 1,620 volunteers were launched in August.
The Indonesian Military (TNI) has expressed its commitment to support the government regarding the medical equipment and vaccine distributions.
“I have met with [regional] chiefs of forces in many regions and asked them to be ready to continue the humanitarian operation, including duties to distribute vaccines to all regions nationwide,” TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said on Sunday as quoted by tempo.co.
All military equipment from the Navy and Air Force would be available for the distribution of medical logistics nationwide, he added.
“The distribution of personal protective gear for doctors and medical workers nationwide in March was also carried out by the TNI,” national Covid-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said.
In a virtual meeting with members of the national Covid-19 and economic recovery committee yesterday, the President also said that every hospital will be required to treat Covid-19 patients in accordance with the Health Ministry’s official standard operating procedures to ensure an optimal recovery rate.
“I received a report last night from the deputy head (of the national Covid-19 recovery committee) and Health Minister (Terawan Agus Putranto) mandating that the treatment meet the ministry’s standards,” Jokowi said.
He said uniform treatment of Covid-19 patients would be mandatory in intensive care units, isolation wards and quarantine facilities. The President said the move would help turn the tables in the country’s favour as it fought mounting Covid-19 cases.
(This standardisation) is of the utmost importance, so we expect that the number of fatalities will continue to decline and that the number of recoveries will continue to improve,” Jokowi said, as quoted in a statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat.
Indonesia’s Covid-19 mortality rate had declined to 3.77% as of last month, Jokowi said. However, he noted that it still hovered above the global fatality rate of 3.01%.
Jokowi also emphasised the importance of community-based interventions in the ongoing mitigation efforts, urging regional heads throughout the country to impose small-scale restrictions in the event of an outbreak to quickly curb the spread of the virus.
“Multiple mini-lockdowns will prove to be more effective,” he said. He called on regional leaders to begin planning mass vaccination schemes as early as possible to ensure smooth sailing once a proven vaccine was available.
Indonesia has seen a continuously rising number of cases since March. The nation logged record daily highs, all above 4,400 new cases, for three consecutive days last week. As of Sunday, Indonesia had recorded 275,213 total Covid-19 cases, with 10,386 fatalities. — The Jakarta Post/ANN