May none of parties hoard medical masks for profit-taking by reselling them at higher prices
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Advisory Council urged the government to provide free medical masks to needy citizens under its preventive measures to tackle the ongoing threats of the global pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"May none of parties hoard medical masks for profit-taking by reselling them at higher prices," Head of the MUI Advisory Council Din Syamsuddin noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Thursday.

In such a critical scenario, Syamsuddin suggested that the Indonesian government offer free masks for those in need while praying for Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala's mercy and protection for all Indonesians and other nations.

All Indonesians are also called on to maintain unity and solidarity in facing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 across the archipelago. All community members are also suggested to practice a healthy lifestyle, he stated.

Both the government and community members work closely in taking preventive and curative measures, including providing public health facilities and hospitals, supplying medical masks and hand sanitizers, and developing traditional medicine.

The COVID-19, which firstly struck in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019, claimed at least 4,500 lives and infected over 120 thousand people worldwide. In Indonesia, the virus has infected 34 people and killed one.

Taking into account the increasing death toll and rising spread of this virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

The Indonesian government has put in place precautionary measures since the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak that first struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019.

In addition to installing thermal scanners at the country's airports and seaports, as well as making preparations at hospitals across the archipelago, the Indonesian government has repatriated several hundred citizens.

On February 2, a total of 238 Indonesian nationals were airlifted from Wuhan, China, to then be quarantined in Natuna District's Riau Islands Province. All these Indonesians were found to be healthy and reunited with their families.

The Indonesian government also repatriated 188 Indonesians employed as crew members of the cruise ship World Dream Liner, and 69 Indonesians employed as cabin crew on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The World Dream cruise ship's crew members and 69 cabin crew of the Diamond Princess had been sent to Sebaru Kecil Island, Jakarta's Thousand Islands, for a 14-day quarantine.

On March 2, 2020, President Jokowi declared that two Indonesians had tested positive for COVID-19. The number of infected confirmed by the government has tended to continue to rise over the past days. Related news: Seven more Indonesians test positive for Covid-19

Related news: Government urged to form COVID-19 task force


Translator: Erafzon SAS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020