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Jakarta Post

Minister Luhut wants stricter health protocols in place during ‘critical time’

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 18, 2020   /   09:14 pm
Minister Luhut wants stricter health protocols in place during ‘critical time’ Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has ordered joint forces of the military and police to monitor the enforcement of health protocols during the “critical time” over the next two to three months until the country is able to conduct mass vaccination, which is expected to take place in December.

Luhut said it was essential to make sure that the protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, were implemented properly.

The minister is among officials tasked by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo with focusing on handling COVID-19 transmission in several provinces, according to the head of the national COVID-19 economic recovery team, Airlangga Hartarto, as reported by kompas.com.

Luhut went on to say that the country could not limit economic activity “for too long”, but leaving citizens to carry out their activities without proper health measures in place could also lead to increasing cases of COVID-19.

Read also: Jokowi forms national team to accelerate vaccine development

“Therefore, we need to strictly monitor the implementation of health protocols. This is actually an art of balancing between COVID-19 handling and conducting economic activities,” Luhut said during a teleconference on Friday.

He was confident that the country could control the health crisis well from December onward as it started to vaccinate tens of millions of its citizens. 

The government previously announced that Indonesia had secured around 300 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine until the end of next year. 

Among the potential suppliers was China’s Sinovac Biotech, which had been cooperating with Indonesia’s pharmaceutical company Bio Farma in conducting clinical trials of the candidate vaccine in the country.