Indonesia must produce domestic viral genome-based coronavirus vaccine: President Jokowi

Six Asia-Pacific countries are among the top 20 vaccines exporters. Photo: The Hanoi Times. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, May 21, 2020, ANTARA. Indonesia should be able to produce its own COVID-19 vaccine based on the domestic viral genome, according to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), ANTARA reported.

Jokowi expressed hope while delivering his remarks during an official launch of research, technology, and innovation products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic held via videoconference here on Wednesday.

“We must be able to produce our own vaccines. The Eijkman Institute has obtained seven genome sequences. A complete viral genome that is beneficial for vaccine development,” the president expounded.

The head of state was pleased to see that the researchers had also continued to work to find effective drugs and therapies for treating COVID-19.

“The work does not stop at the laboratory and not merely prototypes. However, it must continue and be mass-produced to meet domestic demand and for exports,” he remarked.

To this end, Jokowi called to bolster cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders, including research and development institutions, universities, business entities, industries, and the society, in general.

The president called on the country’s industries to have the pluck to invest while also emphasizing that the public should opt for domestic products.

“We must be proud of products made in Indonesia. We must continue to improve conducive ecosystems — ecosystems for growth, development of innovation, and industrialization. (We must) also be proud of domestic products,” he remarked.

In the meantime, Indonesia’s count of coronavirus cases burgeoned to 18,496, as of Tuesday, with 4,467 people recovering from the virus and 1,221 individuals succumbing to the disease, according to Achmad Yurianto, the government’s spokesperson for COVID-19 response.

“Let us take a broad look. (We can see) that transmission is still occurring,” Yurianto remarked during a press conference held by the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response on Tuesday at Graha BNPB here.

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