Vaccination must be balanced with health protocol implementation

Jakarta The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program must be balanced with the implementation of strict health protocols, chairman of the Committee for Handling COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPC-PEN), Airlangga Hartarto, said.

"The President certainly hopes that the vaccination and community discipline would go hand in hand," Hartarto, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, said in a written statement issued in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He emphasized that the health protocols still apply to the community, even though vaccinations have been carried out.

He added that the vaccination program, which will run for 15 months and cover 182 million Indonesians, will need time to be effective in providing immunity against the coronavirus.

The government, he continued, is continuing to encourage public discipline in implementing the 3M health protocols, namely wearing masks, maintaining distancing, washing hands, along with avoiding crowds.

This kind of lifestyle, the minister said, will remain a reference as long as the pandemic is not declared to be over.

The government will again encourage the implementation of health protocols through disciplinary operations in various regions, he informed.

"Discipline in implementing health protocols is still necessary because this global pandemic is not over yet," he remarked.

In December, 2020, there was a significant increase in active COVID cases in Indonesia. Even the number of active cases reached 110,679 cases, as of January 3 this year.

In anticipation of a possible spike in infections, the government is continuing to optimize hospital beds across Indonesia, Hartarto said.

"The central government will reallocate care in hospitals, where the allocation for handling COVID-19 has been increased to 30 percent, and the Minister of Health will prepare for this," he added.

Getting additional health personnel from the Ministry of Health is also the government's focus, especially increasing the number of nurses, he informed.

"The target is 10 thousand (health workers), especially increasing the number of nurses to 7,900 people in 141 health facilities," the minister said.

The government is also encouraging the strengthening of the implementation of the health protocol, especially in non-referral health facilities. It is also necessary to apply 3T (Testing, Tracing, and Treatment) on target, Hartarto remarked.

"The government continues to encourage improvements in tests, tracing, and isolation," the senior minister said. (INE)

Source: Antara News

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