Vice Minister apprises foreign embassies of efforts to check COVID-19

Vice Minister apprises foreign embassies of efforts to check COVID-19

The Indonesian government held a video conference with foreign embassies and international organizations on Tuesday in Jakarta to report on efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. (MoFA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vice Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar highlighted the directives issued by President Joko Widodo on COVID-19, including social distancing, in a video conference on Tuesday with more than 100 embassies and international organizations in Jakarta.

Besides Vice Minister Siregar, Deputy Minister of Finance Suahasil Nazara and the government’s spokesperson on COVID-19 matters, Achmad Yurianto, who is also director general of Disease Prevention and Control (Ministry of Health), also participated in the conference.

Siregar outlined the efforts taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including limiting participation of Indonesian delegations in foreign forums and international activities in Indonesia, scheduling work from home, and launching a COVID-19 hotline for the diplomatic corps.

He also expressed his appreciation of cooperation from friendly countries in efforts to repatriate Indonesian citizens from areas affected by the virus.

Meanwhile, Achmad Yurianto, the government’s spokesperson on COVID-19 matters, stressed that the spread of the virus in Indonesia is under control, and there is coordination between agencies, especially with the formation of a task force to deal with the outbreak.

He explained that Indonesia has adequate resources to deal with outbreaks, with 360 referral hospitals identified, and Community Health Centers and private hospitals optimized to serve all residents, regardless of citizenship status, and ensure early detection.

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The Ministry of Health has also heightened communication and coordination efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with the pandemic. The efforts cover embassies and representative offices of all countries in Indonesia.

At the conference, Deputy Minister of Finance Suahasil Nazara detailed the government's policies and efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Indonesian economy. The government, in cooperation with Bank Indonesia and the Financial Services Authority, has taken a series of synergistic fiscal, monetary, and financial measures, he said.

They include stimulus in the form of tax leniency to help affected industries, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), he added.

The video conference ended with a question-and-answer session, and will be held periodically with the diplomatic corps in Jakarta to apprise them of other developments and strengthen coordination in the fight against COVID-19.

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