JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has maintained that Indonesia has no need to go into lockdown, even as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country surged past 800 thousand cases.
Speaking at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java on Friday, January 8, Jokowi maintained that “[Indonesia] is lucky that it has no need to go into lockdown, as experienced by a number of European [and Asian] countries," he said.
"Three days ago London [and the rest of Great Britain] went into lockdown, as did Bangkok [Thailand], and Tokyo, [Japan]. While lockdowns overseas could last one to three months, In Indonesia, at least the public can carry out their activities under tight health protocols.”
The President urged Indonesians to comply with the government’s compulsory Covid-19 vaccination drive, which starts nationwide next week, as doing so is for the common good.
“Anybody who refuses to be vaccinated [for Covid-19] is posing a danger to themselves and others,” he warned. “Vaccinations for the public, such as immunizing babies, are nothing new. They are needed to build up herd immunity to contain the spread of the coronavirus.”
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto reiterated Jokowi. Speaking in his capacity as head of the National Economic Recovery and Covid-19 Response Team, he noted that compulsory vaccinations have a legal basis in a 1984 law on infectious diseases.
“Vaccinations are compulsory under this law. They are needed to protect those who have not [contracted] the disease, but are at risk of infection.”
Indonesia is also working with the Gavi Covax facility with the World Health Organization and other institutions to develop a vaccine. The government is also working on a domestically developed vaccine called the Merah Putih [Red and White].
Named after the Indonesian flag, the government hopes to develop the vaccine by 2022.
Jokowi intends to immunize 182 million, or 70 percent of Indonesians for free, to gain herd immunity against Covid-19. The government estimated that Indonesia will need at least 426 million doses to give 182 million people two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
(Writers: Dian Erika Nugraheny, Fitria Chusna Farisa | Editor : Krisiandi, Bayu Galih)
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