Indonesia’s president orders immediate dissemination of ‘new normal’ protocols

President Joko Widodo (center) along with TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto (right) and National Police Chief Gen. Idham Aziz (second right) inspect the shopping center in Bekasi, West Java, Tuesday (26/05/2020). ANTARA PHOTO/Fakhri Hermansyah/pras. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, May 27, 2020, ANTARA. President Joko Widodo called to immediately disseminate information to the public on the new normal protocols to be followed to stay productive and safe while conducting activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ANTARA reported.

“I urge the Ministry of Health to disseminate information on the health protocols on a massive scale among members of the public,” President Widodo stated at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday during a limited meeting to discuss preparations for implementation of the “new normal” protocols.

“This aims to edify the public on maintaining safe distance, wearing masks, washing hands, and ban on large congregations,” he noted.

At a meeting attended by Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, ministers of the Advanced Indonesian Cabinet, and Chair of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling and Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo, the president expressed belief that COVID-19 transmission rates could plummet considerably after mass dissemination of information on the application of the new normal protocols.

The head of state has given instructions to deploy 340 thousand military and police personnel at 1,800 locations in four provinces and 25 districts and cities to ensure public adherence to the new normal protocols.

Regions can begin applying the new normal protocols if the basic reproduction number (R0), an epidemiologic metric used to describe the contagiousness or transmissibility of COVID-19, is below one.

Baseline transmission rates indicate the average number of secondary infections from one infection in one vulnerable population.

The World Health Organization states that before applying the concept of new normal, governments in a country must meet several pre-requisites, including having proof of the coronavirus transmission being under control and an efficient public health system, including hospitals, to identify, test, isolate, and track contacts as well as quarantine COVID-19 patients.

Other requirements entail minimizing the risk of outbreak transmission, particularly in high-risk areas, including nursing homes, health facilities, and crowded places; establishing preventive measures at work; monitoring and closely watching the risk of transmission from other areas; and community involvement to provide inputs in transitioning to a new normal.

Until Tuesday (May 26), the cumulative count of COVID-19 patients in Indonesia had reached 23,165, with 5,877 people cured and 1,418 individuals dying of the disease.

COVID-19 cases have spread across all Indonesian provinces, mostly in DKI Jakarta, reaching 6,798; followed by 3,943 in East Java; 2,130 in West Java; 1,352 in South Sulawesi; 1,315 in Central Java; 868 in South Sumatra; 807 in Banten; 630 in South Kalimantan; 567 in Papua; 513 in West Sumatra; 488 in West Nusa Tenggara; 407 in Bali; 322 in Central Kalimantan; and 315 in North Sumatra.

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