Wamena, Papua (ANTARA) - The Tolikara district police precinct, in collaboration with local churches, recently donated three tons of rice to local community members in several sub-districts to allay the economic burden of locals amid this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Tolikara Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms. Leonard Akobiarek also distributed 198 aid packages to police officers in Karubaga, Tolikara District, Papua Province, as their livelihoods also got impacted by this new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The distributed aid packages to the local police officers contained several staple food items, including five kilograms of rice, instant noodles, canned fish, cooking oil, and sugar.

Akobiarek expressed belief that the aid packages to the police officers were expected to lower their burden amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those obligated to follow the practice of fasting during the month of Ramadhan.

Papua is one of the 34 provinces in Indonesia currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of April 30, Papua Province had recorded 205 COVID-19 patients of which 57 had received discharge from hospital after fully recovering from the disease. Death toll from this deadly virus stood at seven.

Spokesman of Papua's COVID-19 Task Force, Silwanus Sumule, pointed to a rising trend of those fully recovering from the deadly virus despite a spike in the number of patients.

The COVID-19 outbreak initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, but it then spread to various parts of the world, including countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2. This ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has weakened the purchasing power of several Indonesian families, particularly those suffering job losses.

In assisting families bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, for instance, had distributed 56,125 aid packages through its offices across Indonesia.

In East Nusa Tenggara Province, a low-ranking policeman donated his first salary — Rp7.8 million — for purchasing aid packages for 20 COVID-19 affected families in the Penfui neighborhood of Kupang City. The act of philanthropy by Second Brigadier Irsan Tapobali, a resident of Penfui neighborhood, Maulafa Sub-district, Kupang City, aligns with President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi’s) appeals for mutual cooperation made earlier.

In a recent statement, President Jokowi highlighted the significance of fostering the spirit of "gotong royong", or mutual cooperation, emphasizing that the government cannot work single-handedly in fighting the spread of coronavirus infections.


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Translator: Marius FY, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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