Friday, September 11, 2020

In push for mass immunization, frontline warriors prioritized by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 12, 2020 (ANTARA) - As many as 111 doctors, including specialists, have succumbed to the novel coronavirus as of September 11, 2020 in the country while battling on the frontlines against the virus that has affected over 200 thousand Indonesians.


Frontline doctors and paramedics have time and again demonstrated their dedication, professionalism, and hard work in fighting the invisible enemy and saving lives ever since the government announced the country's first COVID-19 cases on March 2, 2020.


President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has extended his condolences to the families of the fallen heroes and lauded their hard work and diligence in fighting COVID-19 infections, which have far from flattened so far.


The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has continued to increase in several regions in the country, leading to many hospitals filling up and healthcare workers working incessantly. 


To cut the chain of the virus spread, Jokowi has urged Indonesians to be disciplined in observing health protocols, particularly, wearing masks, washing hands with soap, and maintaining physical distancing, to ensure hospitals and paramedics do not get overwhelmed by the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

"Fiesta of democracy" requires "no compromise" approach to public health

Indonesia, the world's third largest democracy after the US and India, is once again gearing to hold simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) in 270 regions, or nearly half of its territories, on December 9 this year.

Elections are viewed as a "fiesta of democracy" in the country with a population of over 270 million people. Election preparations are usually hectic and the people enjoy the hustle bustle of campaigning, interspersed with parades and musical performances by local artists.

The first simultaneous local elections were held in 2015, and again in 2017 and 2018. All of them were conducted relatively smoothly and peacefully.

But, this year, the simultaneous Pilkada will be different owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that has already claimed 8,336 lives and infected 203,342 people since the government announced the first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

As the Pilkada implementation process begins and the dates for the campaigning period draw closer, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has shown an increase.

In fact, the novel coronavirus disease has become a real threat to local elections as the virus has infected several local election officers despite the implementation of health protocols.

In East Barito District, Central Kalimantan, the head of the local election supervisory office (Bawaslu), identified as F (37), and a member of the the local election office (KPU), identified as Z (44), have tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time.

In Papua, a member of the local KPU has contracted the virus. In Boyolali, Central Java, 69 KPU officers have been infected with COVID-19.

Several prospective candidate pairs participating in the elections in various regions have also reportedly been infected with COVID-19.