KOMPAS.com – As Indonesia’s Covid-19 caseload rose to over 743,000 with about 8,000 new confirmed cases being reported in a day, the government has stepped up its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Indonesia will receive 1.8 million vaccines from Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech Ltd after 1.2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine arrived about two weeks ago.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has announced that vaccination shots against Covid-19 will begin in the middle of the month.
Besides, the Ministry of Health has begun contacting each of the targeted groups for Covid-19 vaccination via a short message service (SMS). People who receive the notification via SMS are required to undergo the Covid-19 vaccination.
Below are excerpts from the stories in Indonesia, curated by Kompas.com editors:
1. Indonesia to Begin Covid-19 Vaccination by Mid-January 2021
Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said vaccination shots against Covid-19 will begin in the middle of this month, as the government is still preparing a mass inoculation program.
“The Covid-19 vaccination will take place in mid-January 2021 to achieve herd immunity,” said Jokowi in a televised message on Thursday, December 31.
The President said that the inoculation program is one of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Although it is not an easy task to do, Jokowi wants Indonesia to recover from the pandemic.
“This is the most important thing to do. To achieve the recovery we must overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. We must be able to stop this pandemic immediately,” he said.
Jokowi also said that 2020 was a very tough year as many people have lost their jobs, livelihoods, and even their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Indonesia Starts to Contact Prioritized Groups for Covid-19 Vaccine via SMS
Indonesia’s Health Ministry will be contacting each citizen of the targeted groups for Covid-19 vaccination via a short message service (SMS) starting from Thursday following a decree issued by the newly-appointed Health Minister.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin has signed the decree on the target of the Covid-19 vaccine implementation on December 28, Kontan.co.id reported on December 31.
“Prior to the Covid-19 vaccination, a notification via short message service (SMS) will be sent first [to the targeted people] on December 31, 2020,” the decree stated.
The decree explained that the vaccination will prioritize targeted groups that in line with the regulations.
People who receive the notification via SMS are required to undergo the Covid-19 vaccination, it added.
3. Government Assures of Sufficient Rice Supply for 2021
Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo assured on Thursday that Indonesia has enough supply of rice for 2021 despite the possibility of extreme weather affecting the food production in the planting season.
To anticipate the extreme weather, Syahrul said, the ministry has carried out some programs, including planting acceleration, providing water supply, and validating the weather by using data from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).
“We always have issues with weather and pests, therefore we work together with BMKG. Hopefully, this can go well, and not only rice is fulfilled but also other commodities will always be available,” Syahrul said in a statement on December 31.
He said that the country’s success in maintaining food availability is the main asset in the 2021 programs. Therefore, the work approach taken must be effective and efficient.
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