Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government will optimize industries that manufacture self-protection devices and other equipment for handling coronavirus (COVID-19), Doni Monardo, head of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling, stated here on Tuesday.

"We have spoken to Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang that all industries that produce equipment to support the handling of COVID-19 will be optimized," Monardo remarked after a meeting with President Joko Widodo and all governors held to discuss measures to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is applicable to not only the textile industry to produce self-protection devices but also to manufacturers of masks, hand sanitizers, and other equipment. Hence, the local industries can meet the local demand and not depend on foreign assistance. They can work on partnership with producers of components of the equipment in regions, he said.

If the production can be maximized, Indonesia can, in future, supply self-protection gear to other countries in need, as the textile industry is mostly centered in South and Southeast Asia.

During the meeting, all governors have echoed their commitment to applying the government's policy on physical distancing.

He highlighted the need to follow a disciplined approach in practicing physical distancing.

As of Monday (March 23), Indonesia had 579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the death toll reaching 49, while 30 had recovered. Related news: Persahabatan Hospital confirms recovery of 11 COVID-19 patients
Related news: COVID-19 to impact N Sumatra Ojek drivers' socio-economic existence

Translator: Rangga Pandu AJ, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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