Indonesia ropes in journalists to combat COVID-19 pandemic

Indonesia ropes in journalists to combat COVID-19 pandemic

Head of the Indonesian Government's COVID-19 Task Force Doni Monardo (ANTARA/Katriana)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Government's COVID-19 Task Force is forging collaboration with the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) to tackle the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by focusing on disseminating credible and factual information on pandemic issues and public's changing outlook.

"The task force and PWI work together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by involving some 5,800 journalists across Indonesia, right from Aceh to Papua," Head of the Indonesian Government's COVID-19 Task Force, Doni Monardo, stated at a press conference here, Monday.

The press briefing was held following his participation at a virtual meeting with President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace here that highlighted reports from the COVID-19 Handling and National Economy Recovery Committee.

Monardo noted that the journalists’ involvement was sought in the program to change the public outlook and countering misleading information by providing credible and accurate news reports to their media outlets' audience.

"The proliferation of inaccurate information (related to the COVID-19 pandemic) among the public is rampant. We are optimistic that our media partners would disseminate positive and factual messages, especially related to the public’s changing outlook," he noted.

Monardo further expounded that the task force had also worked along with the Jakarta provincial government to intensify public awareness campaigns on the significance of implementing health protocols in various neighborhood areas around the capital city.

Supported by the Indonesian Military and National Police, the joined public awareness campaign on the virus will involve 500 select influential figures from five neighborhood areas in Jakarta.

COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease that has claimed the lives of almost a million people globally. In Indonesia, the virus has killed at least 10,386 people, Monardo pointed out.

In another development, the government unveiled that the Phase III of clinical trials of the Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine in Bandung, West Java, had run smoothly, and no volunteers had reportedly ailed from any serious symptoms after being administered the vaccine injections.

The Sinovac Biotech delegates had also witnessed up close the clinical trial process and the production site of this candidate vaccine at the state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi remarked after attending the virtual meeting with President Joko Widodo.

Novel coronavirus infections initially arose in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Since then, COVID-19 has spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.

To tackle this COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned to develop a vaccine to fight the virus.

Currently, in addition to the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, Indonesian scientists are working on a vaccine named after the country's national flag, Merah Putih (Red and White). Related news: Clinical trial of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine ran smoothly: government
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