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Jakarta Post

No more daily briefings as Achmad Yurianto replaced as national COVID-19 spokesman

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 21, 2020   /   07:58 pm
No more daily briefings as Achmad Yurianto replaced as national COVID-19 spokesman Health Ministry disease control and prevention director general Achmad Yurianto speaks to the press in Jakarta on March 13. (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

The government will no longer be reporting COVID-19 updates through daily press briefings, a task previously carried out by the Health Ministry's disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto.

Yurianto has been replaced as the government’s COVID-19 spokesperson by COVID-19 task force lead expert Wiku Adisasmito, who regularly gives his coronavirus updates to international media in weekly press conferences facilitated by the Foreign Ministry.

The change comes after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s formation of the COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery committee, which is tasked with streamlining strategic policies on countering the pandemic.

“As announced earlier by Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga as the chair of the committee, the President has appointed me as the task force spokesperson,” Wiku said in his first press conference as the new spokesperson on Tuesday.

Wiku said the daily COVID-19 data updates would be available on covid19.go.id, while official briefings would be held weekly.

Read also: Indonesia’s virus cases, deaths accelerate after reopening

“We hope that the community will maintain its immunity and [...] strictly implement health protocols so that we can deliver good news every week,” he said.

Yurianto was appointed the nation’s COVID-19 spokesperson on March 3, a few days after the first confirmed cases were announced.

When asked about being replaced, Yurianto said he would focus on his role in the Health Ministry. 

According to the official government count, Indonesia has 89,869 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 48,466 recoveries and 4,320 deaths as of Tuesday. (aly)