Regions with low COVID-19 cases can apply new normal: Jokowi

Regions with low COVID-19 cases can apply new normal: Jokowi

President Jokow Widodo arrives at Semarang airport on June 30, 2020. (Laily Rachev - Biro Pers Sekretariat Presiden)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) highlighted that a new normal can solely be applied in regions with reportedly low cases of COVID-19 transmission backed by scientific data.

"We must not attempt to apply a new normal while it is in fact not possible based on the (COVID-19 cases) data. Do not force it. Hence, the stages must be prepared," President Jokowi remarked during his working visit to the COVID-19 Handling Command Post in Semarang, Central Java, on Tuesday.

Jokowi highlighted the significance of each regional head and Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19 to hold scientific data.

Regional heads and the COVID-19 Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling must always involve practitioners, such as epidemiologists, scientists, and medical personnel, in the decision-making process, he noted.

"Do not ever open up to the new 'new normal' order without going through the appropriate steps. Every time we make a policy, please use scientific data," he remarked.

Prior to transitioning to the new normal, the local government must disseminate information to the public on the significance of adhering to health protocols.

Thereafter, regional heads and the local Task Force must decide on the right time to transition to the new normal era.

"Lest we dare to embark on the new normal while R-t is still high, above 1, and R-naught is still high. Be careful. Do not formulate policies that are not backed by clear scientific data," he noted.

On Monday, President Jokowi had called on his ministers to go beyond their usual realm of operation and make a breakthrough to address challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. "With this good opportunity, once again, I urge that we must not work linearly. I seek a breakthrough that the community can witness and is expected to truly have an impact on accelerating this handling," the president remarked while chairing a limited cabinet meeting on COVID-19 handling at the Merdeka Palace here on Monday.

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, several ministers, and heads of state institutions attended the meeting, albeit with compliance to the health protocols.

He sought the deployment of more health workers and medical devices in several provinces where the COVID-19 transmission rate was still high.

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