KOMPAS.com – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo discussed with the Balinese hospitality and business players during a mass inoculation program in a Bali hotel on March 16.
In the discussion, President indicated that Bali could reopen its tourist attractions in the second semester of the year if the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic will be better.
Meanwhile, to contain the spread of coronavirus in Indonesian waters, the Navy has been strengthening its routine border patrol. The patrol is to monitor high-threat areas where illegal border crossing, drug smuggling, movement of illegal commodities, and human trafficking are prevalent.
During the operation, the members of the Indonesian Navy spotted a boat carrying 115 alleged Indonesian illegal migrant workers and children returning from Malaysia.
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Bali’s Tourist Attractions May Reopen in July
Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the island resort of Bali may reopen its doors to tourist arrivals in July if the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic will be better.
Jokowi brought this up during a limited meeting with tourism industry players who had been vaccinated in the mass inoculation program in a Bali hotel on Tuesday, March 16.
Bali is among the hardest hit by the economic impact of the Covid-19 as its economy depends mostly on tourism.
During the meeting, the President indicated that if the Covid-19 case is under control, health protocols are strictly implemented, and the mass vaccination program will achieve the expectation, the tourism could reopen in June or July this year.
“Everyone must support this and remain careful. This could reopen in July,” Jokowi said in a televised statement.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno concurred. Sandiaga also hoped that Bali could reopen in June or July.
Boat Carrying 115 Indonesian Undocumented Migrant Workers, Children Returning from Malaysia Caught
Members of the Indonesian Navy from Tanjung Balai Asahan Naval Base (Lanal) secured a boat carrying 115 alleged Indonesian illegal migrant workers and children from Malaysia during a routine patrol on Saturday, March 13.
Tanjung Balai Asahan Naval Base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robinson Hendrik Etwory, said in a statement that the 115 people comprised 80 men, 31 women, and four babies.
“They were found in KM Sinar Utama boat with three crew members,” Robinson said, adding that the boat was allegedly carrying illegal Indonesian workers from Malaysia.
Commander of the Navy’s First Fleet Command (Pangkoarmada I) Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid said the Navy patrol will always be held routinely especially in high-threat areas where illegal border crossing, drug smuggling, movement of illegal commodities, and human trafficking are prevalent.
The patrol is also in line with the directive from the Indonesian Navy chief of staff Admiral Yudo Margono.
“The Indonesian Navy has an active role in assisting the government to accelerate the handling of Covid-19, especially in the territorial waters where smuggling of illegal Indonesian migrant workers are still found,” Rasyid said.
He said amid the Covid-19 pandemic the Indonesian Navy would carry out additional procedures in dealing with the smuggling of illegal Indonesian migrant workers in Jemur Island, which is under the purview of the Navy’s First Fleet Command.
Indonesia's Covid-19 Task Force Urges Calm As Sinovac Vaccine Expires Soon
Indonesia’s Covid-19 Task Force has urged the Indonesian public not to panic, after news broke that Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine will expire on March 25.
The eminent professor assured that the government has safeguards in place to ensure the public’s safety.
“The government has paid attention to technical details, including the vaccine’s expiration date, to ensure the safety of those getting vaccinated,” said Wiku on the Presidential Secretariate’s YouTube channel Tuesday.
“The authorities will also ensure that the public gets quality [vaccines] that are safe and halal.”
While he confirmed that a number of the Chinese pharmaceutical company’s vaccines will expire on March 25, they will not be a factor in Indonesia’s current mass vaccination drive.
“The vaccines nearing their expiration date were among the three million doses of the Sinovac vaccine that was brought from China in December 2020,” Wiku noted.
“The vaccines were used up in the first wave of vaccinations at the beginning of 2021, among them health workers and government officials, including President Joko Widodo, since last January.”
He added that the vaccines were used to vaccinate the elderly and civil servants.
The spokesman for Bio Farma’s vaccine program, Bambang Heryanto announced the March 25 expiration date for Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine last Saturday. But he admitted that officials did not realize that the vaccines would expire soon.
“The [Covavax] vaccines’ packaging said that it will expire in 2023. But their expiration date was moved up six months since by the Food and Drug Agency [BPOM].”
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