Illustration of medical workers wearing personal protective equipment
Illustration of medical workers wearing personal protective equipment. Photo courtesy of

President Joko Widodo pointed out that the protection of health workers and the provision of medicines and healthcare equipment is top priority. He emphasised on this concern when chairing a limited meeting to discuss the response to the Covid-19 pandemic by teleconference at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, on Monday, 30 March 2020.

The priority, as the President stated, is making sure that all doctors, medical personnel and nurses can work safely with adequate medical equipment. On 23 March, the central government shipped a total of 165,000 PPE (personal protective equipment) to every province, and the President expects deliveries to be truly monitored. "The provinces must deliver the PPEs immediately, for immediate distribution to hospitals in the area so they can provide good healthcare services to the community," the President stated.

Based on reports received by the President, PPE supply is currently decreasing and the estimate indicates that Indonesia will need approximately three million PPEs until the end of May. Therefore, the President instructed for an accelerated procurement for the PPE. "I also expect for the utilisation of domestic products. Based on recent data, there are 28 PPE-manufacturing companies in our country," he added. To support PPE production, the President instructed for import facilitation of raw materials.

At the same time, the President also asked for accelerated development to manufacture ventilators domestically. In addition to medical equipment concerns, the Head of State also requested his staffs to give a close attention on availability of rapid test kits, also known as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and VTM (viral transport media) for rapid testing in laboratories. Regarding the rapid test, the President instructed for the prioritization of health workers and their entire family, especially the ones with ODP status (people under observation). "Please also notice that some of the governors conveyed the need for lab test equipment, such as PCR and VTM reagents. All governors are requesting the equipment. Therefore, please prioritise procurement for these items," he said.

In addition, the President requested his subordinate to build a service information system for referral hospitals, including information system on availability of treatment rooms at emergency hospitals such as Wisma Atlet Kemayoran, Jakarta. "The registration system should be integrated online to make everyone receiving the service faster," the President closed his statement.

Bogor, 30 March, 2020

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta