Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) central executive board revealed that some 234 kyai (Islamic teachers) and influential figures of this Indonesia's largest Islamic organization passed away amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
However, they did not die of the novel coronavirus disease. Instead, they passed away during pandemic situation in Indonesia, Head of the NU COVID-19 Handling Unit Ulun Nuha said here on Sunday.
The death rate of NU's kyai during this year's COVID-19 situation was much higher than that of last year that was just recorded at less than 50, he said, adding that COVID-19 pandemic had indeed posed a serious threat to the safety of the nahdliyin (NU members).
Over the past 10 months since the COVID-19 struck Indonesia in March, the deadly disease has infected more than 5,000 students and teachers at 112 NU-owned Islamic boarding schools in various parts of the country, he said.
Two of the infected students succumbed to the COVID-19. Due to this challenging reality, NU formed a COVID-19 task force to save and protect the nahdliyin, he added.
The first COVID-19 infections in Indonesia were reported on March 2 this year.
The government has consistently expressed confidence the COVID-19 vaccine would help contain the pandemic which has posed a serious threat to public health and economy.
Over the past few months, it has endeavored to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
The government is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag.
As recently disclosed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government had planned to commence the first phase of COVID-19 immunization in the third week of December this year.
The government is awaiting emergency-use authorization from Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) to commence the first phase of the program.
Source: Antara News