Jokowi stresses on national cooperation to contain COVID-19

Jokowi stresses on national cooperation to contain COVID-19

President Joko Widodo . ANTARA/Biro Pers Istana/pri.

The key (to fighting this pandemic) is cooperation between central and regional governments, from the lowest level (of administration)
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reiterated the significance of close cooperation between central and regional governments to thwart the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia.

"The key (to fighting this pandemic) is cooperation between central and regional governments, from the lowest level (of administration)," Jokowi stated during a visit to an emergency hospital on Galang Island, Batam, in Riau Islands on Wednesday.

The emergency hospital is projected to serve as a research hospital for infectious disease.

Earlier, on Tuesday (March 31), Jokowi had declared a public health emergency status and called for the imposition of the practice of large-scale social distancing. The government has issued a governmental regulation and presidential decree in connection with the status.

"From the top level, the president, to the lowest level of village heads, this is related to the homecoming tradition. There must be self-isolation at the village level," the president added.

Jokowi called for the need for villages to prepare a social safety net program for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president has urged regional administrations to restrain from issuing policies apart from the large-scale social distancing imposed by the government.

"We have the law on health quarantine, and we apply the law. Do not issue different policies, as we should harbor a common vision," he stressed.

However, the president did understand the rationale behind the policy imposed by some regions to restrict the movement of people in their territories, calling such form of restriction as normal in the path to containing the spread of the virus in the respective regions.

"No (regional administrations) have, until now, imposed a different policy. We do not expect that. Once again, there should be no major decision, such as a regional quarantine, covering a larger area or people calling it a lockdown," Jokowi stated.

The president has called on regional leaders to fully comprehend the meaning of a lockdown.

"When a lockdown is imposed, people are not allowed to venture out of their houses, movement of means of transportation, including buses, private cars, motorcycles, trains, and aircraft, is halted, and all offices are closed. We did not do that way. We still have economic activities ongoing," he elaborated.

He reminded the public to impose physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and avoid touching the face.

The government has imposed large-scale social distancing in line with Government Regulation No. 21 of 2020 to expedite the handling of COVID-19.

Article 2 of the regulation stipulates that a province, district, or municipality can restrict the movement of goods and people with approval from related ministries.
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