Cilacap (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut B. Pandjaitan, on Tuesday said the government is trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and aid economic recovery simultaneously.

"The President announced yesterday (the formation of a new committee for handling COVID-19 and economic recovery). We have been summoned. The government is handling COVID-19, economy integratedly,” he stated.

The minister made the remarks at the inauguration of a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) facility at the Integrated Waste Processing Site (TPST) at Tritih Lor village, Jeruklegi sub-district, Cilacap district.

The inauguration, which was broadcast live through the Zoom and Youtube applications, was also attended by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif, Maritime and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo, Central Java Deputy Governor Taj Yasin Maimoen, and officials from a number of ministries.

In his speech, Luhut urged citizens to diligently wear masks, wash hands using soap and running water, and maintain a safe distance to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus disease.

"It needs to be considered," he said.

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He said that each country, including Indonesia, has devised its own strategy for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

"Well, in my opinion, this garbage is one (thing that) can cause various diseases. Therefore, let us clean up this garbage, we fight against garbage, and we work together against this," the minister added.

The senior minister informed that the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) has developed cheaper COVID-19 rapid test kits, with an accuracy of up to 98 percent, to aid preventive efforts.

While rapid test kits can cost as much as Rp150 thousand, the new kits developed by BPPT will be priced around Rp75 thousand, he stated.

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Translator: Sumarwoto, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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