The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo must take charge in handling the COVID-19 crisis in Indonesia as the country grapples with a consistent surge of daily coronavirus cases, an epidemiologist has said.
“The President must directly lead COVID-19 handling,” Pandu Riono of the University of Indonesia told the Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Pandu said that the current strategy, carried out under the national COVID-19 task force, had not been effective in curbing coronavirus transmission.
Therefore, he argued, the President as the head of state must directly preside over COVID-19 management to help flatten the curve of transmission.
“No country but Indonesia has established a COVID-19 task force. There should be no more task force. The government, with all its ministries, must take on the task in order to be effective,” Pandu said.
This week, the country has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases on four separate occasions, including three consecutive days.
Indonesia’s daily case count first topped 4,000 on Sept. 19, before climbing to 4,176 on Monday, 4,465 on Wednesday, 4,634 on Thursday and 4,823 on Friday.
As of Friday, the country’s number of total infections since March was 266,845, with a total of 10,218 fatalities and 196,196 recoveries.