This was the first out-of-town working visit by a minister since early March, when Indonesia reported its first COVID-19 cases.
On his trip to the Anambas islands, Mahfud MD was accompanied by Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian.
The island is located in the Natuna Sea and shares its borders with three countries: Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Mahfud MD arrived in Anambas in the thick of preparations ahead of the new normal.
He followed strict health protocols, including maintaining physical distancing while traveling and at meeting locations, wearing a mask, as well as washing hands in the places he visited.
The minister and his entourage also underwent swab tests prior to their departure.
"The COVID-19 health protocol does not only apply in cities, (and) not only in red zones. Even in the outermost regions, like the Anambas Islands, the protocols must be applied. Even though this area is still a green zone, I am happy because the people who welcomed us were wearing masks, our temperatures were all measured, and distances were maintained," the minister said.
During his visit as the chairperson of the National Border Management Agency (BNPP), Mahfud MD observed the results of development in the border area.
The former chief justice of the Constitutional Court also inaugurated the Great Mosque of Baitul Makmur, Anambas, where he offered ‘dhuhur’ prayers in congregation, while maintaining physical distancing, as per the health guidelines.
"The Home Affairs Minister and I have spoken with the Sub-district head. I have stressed that the attack of the coronavirus is fast and invisible, so (the authorities must) pay close attention to the movement of people coming into Anambas, so the area stays a green zone," he said.
Before leaving Anambas, the Coordinating Minister participated in a virtual limited meeting led by the president and reported on preparations ahead of the implementation of the new normal in the outermost island. He then traveled to Galang Island to pay a visit to the Special Hospital for COVID-19 treatment.
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