JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency [BPOM] continues to stockpile Covid-19 vaccines to reach its goal of vaccinating more than 180 million people to gain herd immunity against Covid-19.
An Indonesian army patrol guarding the Indonesian-Malaysian border in West Kalimantan province’s Sambas regency has found more than 42.9 kilograms of crystal meth in various parts of the border.
And the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has allowed live sports, musical and cultural events to be held, if all parties complied to health protocols. Read on to get more of these news on Indonesia Highlights, which was compiled by our editors:
Indonesia Issues Emergency Use Authorization to AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine
Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has given the green light for the Covid-19 vaccine produced by UK pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
“BPOM has granted emergency use authorization [EUA] to AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine on February 22 under the EUA number 2158100143A1,” BPOM head Penny Lukito told a press conference which was held virtually on Tuesday, March 9.
Penny added that the application for the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine was done multilaterally and registered directly by AstraZeneca Indonesia.
"[The EUA] was registered through the bilateral production line of AstraZeneca in Europe and Siam Bioscience in Thailand," she asserted. BPOM had evaluated with the National Committee for Drug Evaluation and other relevant parties, before granting the emergency use permit.
“BPOM had estimated the efficacy of the vaccine was 62.1 percent.”
Indonesia received the first shipment of more than a million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, March 8. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said it was the first batch of vaccines that Indonesia received through the multilateral channel.
During the first phase, which runs until May, Indonesia will receive a total of 11,748,000 ready-to-use vaccines.
Over 40 Kg of Crystal Meth in Indonesia-Malaysia Border Seized
Indonesia's Border Security Task Force [Satgas Pamtas] has seized two cardboard boxes containing 40 packages of crystal methamphetamine weighing 42.9 kilograms during a patrol in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan near the Indonesia-Malaysia border.
"The crystal meth was found by the personnel at Gabma Sajingan Post," said Lieutenant Colonel Alim Mustofa, the commanding officer of the 642nd Infantry Battalion at Kapuas, who is also the head of the Indonesia-Malaysia Border Security Task Force, on Tuesday, March 9.
“The patrol [found the contraband] on Sunday afternoon. Personnel from Gabma Sajingan Post, led by Lieutenant Agus Sala, found two cardboard boxes containing suspicious packages believed to be crystal meth. The drugs were wrapped in tea packets," said Alim.
"Our men have received instruction to step up border patrols along the roads on the Indonesia-Malaysia border," said Alim, adding that the surveillance activity was done after receiving intelligence information from the Task Force members and other relevant agencies.
Alim said that the West Kalimantan Police's Narcotics Directorate and the West Kalimantan National Narcotics Agency are investigating the case.
Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Permits Live Events
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has given the go-ahead to hold live events, a year after they were curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The ministry has decided to authorize the holding of sports events and concerts, as well as exhibitions, after consultation with Indonesian National Police head General Listyo Sigit Prabowo,” said Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno in a written statement on Tuesday.
The former Jakarta Deputy Governor said “the events can be held as long as they comply with CHSE protocols or cleanliness, health, safety, and environment [sic] sustainability.”
“If the event is held in a green zone, they can be held under tight health protocols. If they are in yellow zones, the event can be held virtually or with limited attendance,” Sandiaga noted.
“If the event cannot be held at the venue because it is a red zone, then organizers have the option of holding [the event virtually.]”
Sandiaga added that he is aware of the risk of Covid-19 transmission. “Live events still pose a risk of becoming clusters for the spread of Covid-19,” he noted.
The decision to hold live events came after 14 musical associations wrote a letter to President Joko Widodo to permit the hosting of the events to jumpstart the creative economy sector.
The associations warned that the hiatus in live events cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the sector nationwide.
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