JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Tensions are quickly boiling in Papua, as insurgents officially known as ‘Armed Criminal Groups’ or KKB killed two Indonesian soldiers in a firefight.
The clash brought the number of dead Indonesian soldiers in the province to three in as many weeks at the start of 2021.
New Indonesian Ministery of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin criticized his ministry’s testing, tracing and treatment or 3T method as well as mapping system.
And the government cannot keep the number of Covid-19 from surging towards the one million mark. Read on to get more details on these stories, as curated by our editors:
Two Indonesian Soldiers Killed in Firefight Against Papuan Insurgents
Insurgents or Armed Restive Groups [KKB] in Papua have killed two Indonesian soldiers during firefights on Friday, January 22. The fatalities brought the number of soldiers killed to three in the first three weeks of 2021.
The clash occurred at the Intan Jaya regency, the site of firefights against the insurgents over the past year.
“The insurgents who were commanded by wanted Papuan militant Sabinus Waker, attacked the Army post at Titigi in the Sugapa district at 7 am,” Benny told Kompas.com.
“[The soldiers on Titigi] repulsed two attacks in the morning and afternoon. The insurgents killed Private First Class Roy Vebrianto in the first assault, after they mortally hit on his right chest.”
Indonesian Army spokesman Colonel IGN Suriastawa added that the military suffered its second fatality hours later.
“The insurgents killed Private First Class Dedi Hamdani in the afternoon as his unit advanced from their post at Hitadipa to relieve Titipi,” he asserted.
Roy and Dedi’s deaths came nearly two weeks after Private Agus Kurniawan died on January 10.
The Intan Jaya regency has been the front line in the ongoing conflict between the Indonesian
military and insurgents, whom they referred to as ‘Armed Criminal Groups’, over the past year.
Indonesian Health Minister Criticizes Current Covid-19 Testing Methods
New Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has strongly criticized the government’s current method of Covid-19 testing. Budi slammed the methods on grounds that it does not adhere to epidemiological standards.
“The number of Covid-19 cases continue to multiply even though the number of people tested [for the pandemic] regularly exceeded the targets set by the World Health Organization,” he said on Friday, January 23.
“The methods of testing, tracing and treatment or 3T, and isolation [of cases] are nothing more than patching up a flat tire. We are not even disciplined or impartial in carrying out the tests.”
Budi maintained that the authorities did not cast their net of test subjects widely enough. “The authorities might carry out many tests. But many of the samples they took are from a relatively limited number of people, not least officials like me,” he asserted.
“Every time I meet President [Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo] I get tested. I even got a swab test five times a week before I go to the Presidential Palace,” Budi pointed out.
He said that proper epidemiological tests should target suspected Covid-19 cases among the public, not just officials or travelers, so the authorities can trace or treat them just as quickly and as evenly they are tested.
Budi also has issues with his ministry’s figures for vaccinations. “[The Ministry of Health] will use the General Election Commission or KPU’s statistics instead of the Ministry’s, as their use in the recent regional elections make them more accurate,” he lamented.
Number of Covid-19 Cases Near 1 Million Mark
Indonesia’s Covid-19 crisis is spiraling out of control, as the number of cases quickly surged near the one million mark after it stands at 965,283 as of Friday, January 23, after an additional 13,632 cases.
The Covid-19 Task Force said the number includes 27,453 people who died, after the number of fatalities went up by 250.
On the other hand, the number of those who recovered from the coronavirus stands at 781,147, after 8,357 people were given a clean bill of health.
The authorities estimated that there are 79.349 suspected Covid-19 cases in Indonesia. The government determined these figures by examining 8,638,162 Covid-19 specimens from 5.770.517 people.
The pandemic has Indonesia in its grasp, as Covid-19 was found in Indonesia’s 34 provinces, specifically in the 510 regencies and cities nationwide.
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