Minister: Govt Still Has Long Agenda in Combating Coronavirus

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy stated that the government would continue to monitor the coronavirus, or COVID-19, after returning Indonesian citizens from China after their quarantine period in Natuna.

    According to Muhadjir, the Indonesian government still has a long agenda in combating the coronavirus pandemic. The government continues to monitor Indonesian citizens overseas who are still threatened by the coronavirus, such as Indonesian citizens who are crew members on the Westerdam and Diamond Princess cruises.

    "If the worst happens, we must handle it like the Indonesian citizens from Hubei. However, we also respect the country's authority and the established WHO protocol. I think we will also be ready to face it," he said, on Monday, February 17, 2020.

    On top of monitoring the development of Indonesian citizens abroad, Muhadjir stated that domestic security is also a priority for the government.

    The government will maintain vigilance at Indonesian borders from various routes, especially land, sea and air, by maximizing the equipment needed for inspection. In addition, the government will tighten inspection on the travel history and health of foreigners entering Indonesia.

    "For example, they (the foreigners entering Indonesia) have to be people who during the last 14 days have never been to the (Chinese) mainland where the disease occurred. So that will be tightened," Muhadjir said.

    The government has also cooperated internationally with the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in providing primary reagents to detect COVID-19.

    Regarding the readiness of health facilities to deal with the virus, data from the Ministry of Health pointed out that several hospitals are ready to accommodate patients if COVID-19 cases arise in Indonesia. The government has set up 26 government hospitals and 25 private and state-owned hospitals that have negative isolation facilities.

    Beyond this vigilance, Muhadjir asked all parties to maintain the condition so that there would not be any mass panic. "The government is very appropriate in responding to this. I think our steps should be appreciated. Insha-Allah (God's Willing), we pray that hopefully the outbreak will end and Indonesia is protected from the Coronavirus outbreak," he said.

    ANTARA | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)