President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has appointed several of his Cabinet members and agency heads to directly supervise the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic mitigation efforts in regions considered to be the country’s primary coronavirus hot spots.
National COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said in a press conference on Tuesday that Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo were among those tasked with the job.
The government is focused on flattening the COVID-10 infection curve in nine provinces with the highest transmission rates in the country: Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Papua and Bali.
“Our goals include reducing daily case counts, increasing the number of recoveries, as well as reducing the number of fatalities,” Wiku said in a statement.
He added that Jokowi expected the aforementioned goals to be achieved within the next two weeks.
To arrive at that point, he said the government had devised a strategy that entailed – among other things – synchronizing regional databases with the central government’s statistics for a swifter decision-making process.
“So the mitigation [efforts] are more region-specific,” Wiku said, while calling on all regional heads to coordinate with the central government to ensure that the COVID-19 emergency remained under control.
Data from the Health Ministry show an upward trend in COVID-19 cases over the past week, he said. As of Tuesday, the number of active cases has increased 24.4 percent, while the number of fatalities has also increased 4 percent.
However, he said the government had also recorded a 14 percent increase in the number of recovered patients across the country.
Wiku also urged districts and subdistricts to immediately impose micro-scale social restrictions (PSBM).
Such measures, he said, could help break the infection chain and therefore stem the spread of the disease to other areas.
“The ‘high-priority’ provinces are expected to be able to keep the situation under control by cooperating with local authorities, including the National Police and the Indonesian Military,” Wiku added.