JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia might be looking forward to the first mass vaccinations to counter Covid-19 next December or at the beginning of 2021, months after the pandemic was first detected in the country last March.
But this breakthrough is balanced by concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccine and its side effects. Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo himself pledged to go into the unknown by volunteering to be a guinea pig for the vaccine.
Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian sternly warned governors to enforce health protocols or lose their jobs.
His warning comes after Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil failed to stop Islamic Defenders Front [FPI] head Habib Rizieq from flouting those protocols following his return from exile in Saudi Arablia last week.
Last but not least, Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi assured the Indonesian public that Saudi Arabia did not ban Indonesian pilgrims wishing to carry out the Umrah minor pilgrimage, after Riyadh temporarily curtailed granting visas to them after 13 pilgrims tested Covid-19 positive.
Read on to get more details of these news, as curated by our editors:
1. President Jokowi Steps Up For Indonesia’s New Covid-19 Vaccine
President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is prepared to set an example for the Indonesian people in the country’s struggle against the Covid-19 pandemic, by becoming the first person to be vaccinated for the coronavirus.
“I am ready to be the first to be vaccinated, though that decision depends on the [Presidential] medical team’s advice. But if I have to be among the first to receive the vaccine, then I am ready,” the President said on 18 November.
“The vaccine is prioritized for health workers like doctors and nurses, followed by military and police personnel, then teachers and other civil servants.”