TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Graft watchdog Indonesia Corruption Watch said there was no urgency in giving COVID-19 vaccines to prisoners of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). ICW researcher Dewi Anggraeni said this was because the prisoners were not frontline workers who were entitled to receiving the vaccines in the first phase of the country's vaccine rollout.
“We think this is highly inappropriate. We can see from the validity of the Health Ministry’s data alone that it is still uncertain that all health workers or other priority groups that became the target of the first phase of vaccination have received the vaccines, and now we are giving [the vaccines] to KPK prisoners,” Dewi said in a written statement on Friday, 26 February 2021.
On the other hand, she added, the ICW was aware that vaccination in the KPK, including to its prisoners, was aimed at ensuring unhindered investigations in the antigraft body. “But then again, we must see what the priority is,” she said.
Earlier, the KPK made a public statement on the rife issues of its prisoners receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
KPK Chief Firli Bahuri said the commission was obliged to safeguard everybody’s lives, including its prisoners.
According to Firli, KPK prisoners were among those susceptible to contract and transmit the coronavirus given their intense exposure to multiple parties, such as prison guards, prisoners’ families, and lawyers.