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Grab commits to support Indonesia’s COVID-19 vaccination race

Sebastian Partogi

The Jakarta Post

-  /  Fri, January 15, 2021  /  08:18 pm
Grab commits to support Indonesia’s COVID-19 vaccination race

In this file photo, a health worker is seen taking a blood sample from Grab driver for a rapid COVID-19 test. (Photo courtesy of Grab Indonesia/.)

Singapore’s Grab has pledged to support the Indonesian government’s efforts in making its COVID-19 vaccination a success by using its platform to counter misinformation about the vaccine.

At the same time, the company has formally requested that the Indonesian government consider prioritizing its partner drivers, delivery officers, merchants as well as agents in the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

In the third phase of the vaccination program, the government will cover vulnerable segments of society, in terms of their geospatial, social and economic circumstances.

“With all due respect, Grab requests that the Indonesian government consider prioritizing its partners to gain early access to the vaccination program so its partners can continue its contribution in helping Indonesian people fulfill their daily necessities, all the while helping the Indonesian economy recover,” Grab Indonesia president Ridzki Kramadibrata said.

Ridzki made the statement while delivering a keynote speech during an ADB Asian Impact webinar series on Wednesday themed “Online Platforms to Catalyze Economic Growth”.

On the same day, Indonesia kickstarted its COVID-19 vaccination drive, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo being the first person in Indonesia to be vaccinated. The government announced its plan to duly continue the vaccination drive by distributing the vaccines to the most vulnerable groups of people across 34 provinces in Indonesia.

He said that during the nine months of the pandemic, Grab’s partners have continued risking their lives every day to make sure that Indonesians can fulfill their daily necessities, from transportation, food, logistics and groceries, all day every day.

“While [the majority of] Indonesians are doing their bit in fighting the pandemic by staying home [most of the time], our partners continue to be on the front lines in the effort of making sure that we continue to sustain community life,” he asserted.

Health workers draw blood from Grab drivers in rapid test to determine if they catch COVID-19.Health workers draw blood from Grab drivers in rapid test to determine if they catch COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Grab Indonesia/.)

Therefore, according to Ridzki, he believes that the government needs to prioritize its partners in the vaccination program, owing to the crucial role they have played and continue to play during the pandemic.

“The gradual vaccination process is a very important step for the nation’s economic recovery and the government has pledged its commitment to make the vaccines available for free to people from all walks of life,” Ridzki noted.

Ridzki was quick to add, however, that the effort of distributing the vaccine to cover everyone equally in an archipelagic setting like Indonesia, with thousands of islands scattered and separated by water, was by no means an easy feat to accomplish.

Therefore, he said, Grab was also committed to doing its part to help the Indonesian government overcome several obstacles to the national vaccination program through the app’s far-reaching technology and platforms.

“We have closely worked together with the Indonesian government, covering as many relevant aspects as possible, to help the government mitigate the coronavirus outbreak [through technology and innovation],” he highlighted.

Ridzki then described in detail on how Grab would support the national vaccine drive using technology.

First, Grab is ready to help the government educate Indonesians who belong to the most vulnerable groups, including its own drivers, merchant and agent partners, on the importance of getting the vaccine.

Grab drivers leaves COVID-19 test site after their blood sample being taken for rapid test.Grab drivers leaves COVID-19 test site after their blood sample being taken for rapid test. (Photo courtesy of Grab Indonesia/-)

These vulnerable groups often have no other choice but to have direct physical contact with other people quite frequently due to economic necessities to make ends meet.

On top of that, Grab also offers mass communications services through its platform to educate its hundreds of millions of users in Indonesia to help combat misinformation about the vaccine. The campaign will also highlight the importance of vaccinations to achieve herd immunity on a national level.

Grab also provides healthcare consultations regarding COVID-19 vaccines through its in-app healthcare feature, powered by professional doctors from Good Doctor, who can answer any questions from users regarding the vaccine.

“We are committed to serving and supporting Indonesians in these challenging times. Let’s join hands in protecting each other, to make sure no one is left behind in these times,” he said.

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