Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has teamed up with the Indonesian National Army (TNI) to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, in the country.

In a written statement, PMI chairperson M Jusuf Kalla said the involvement of the TNI was necessary in fighting the pandemic as it has special abilities, given the nation is fighting an invisible enemy.

"We need the involvement of the TNI because they have special abilities, and are very disciplined. Discipline is needed in this epidemic war because what we are facing is an invisible enemy," Jusuf Kalla said, while giving directions on the training of spray gun operators on Thursday at PMI headquarters in Jakarta.

At least 50 TNI personnel participated in the training of spray gun operators at the PMI central headquarters in Jakarta.

Meanwhile, PMI's head of Disaster Management Division, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Soemarsono, said the TNI has an obligation to participate in the operation to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In accordance with Law No. 34/2004, he said, the TNI is obliged to help handle disasters, including the COVID-19 outbreak.

"The TNI, as regulated in the law, has duties. Besides conducting wars, it also has non-war (obligations) called military operations other than war (OMSP), and efforts to prevent outbreaks are part of OMSP," Soemarsono explained.

The TNI will be in charge of operating the PMI’s spray gun car for three months. The spray gun car is a tanker truck specially assembled by the PMI and capable of firing massive amounts of disinfectant liquid on the streets of the capital city.

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Translator: Zuhdiar Laeis, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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