"I had mentioned earlier that in the four provinces, the number of confirmed cases rose by seven percent, from 13.4 percent on Sept 9-15, to 20.5 percent on Sept 14-20," Pandjaitan stated during a virtual meeting on COVID-19 handling here on Wednesday.
Pandjaitan, concurrently deputy chairman of the Policy Committee for COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery, urged relevant officials, particularly governors, the Health Ministry’s officials, as well as the local military and police chiefs, to focus on the four provinces.
The minister chiefly laid emphasis on the roles of police and military personnel in helping ensure that the people apply health protocols to cut the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
Pandjaitan cited as an example the success achieved by East Java Province in slowing down the spread of COVID-19 owing to the close cooperation among the East Java governor, Provincial Police, and Provincial Military Command.
The minister reminded the four provinces to ensure the availability of quarantine facilities, especially for symptomatic COVID-19 patients.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Health must guarantee the availability of drugs and ICU beds coupled with gaining a broad understanding of the clinical management of COVID-19 treatment at various hospitals.
The government has formulated three strategies to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic: behavioral change and early detection of spread; construction of quarantine and isolation centers; and management of COVID-19 treatment.
"I urge that we all, including the Ministry of Health, the COVID-19 Task Force, governors, provincial police, and provincial military commands, refer to the three strategies," he stated.
Pandjaitan highlighted the fairly good handling of COVID-19 by the governors and other stakeholders in the eight priority provinces until now.
"Since September 9, I have been ordered to handle eight provinces, with the number of cases constituting 72 percent of the national count. To this day, the number of cases in the eight provinces has dropped to only 60.6 percent out of the national tally of COVID-19 cases," he stated. Related news: COVID-19 testing, tracing crucial until vaccine arrives: Minister
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