Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s Health Ministry collaborated with the COVID-19 Task Force to launch a program to bolster contact tracing efforts in the government-prioritized 51 districts and cities across 10 provinces in its COVID-19 prevention and mitigation endeavors.

The program is conducted by initially recruiting contact tracing volunteers and data managers to meet the requirements of skilled human resources in all targeted districts and cities in the 10 provinces.

Aceh, North Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, and Papua are the prioritized provinces, the Health Ministry's acting Disease Control and Prevention Director General, Muhammad Budi Hidayat, stated on Tuesday.

Addressing a virtual press conference that ANTARA partook in from Jakarta, Hidayat emphasized that the recruitment was conducted through a transparent mechanism.

Those recruited for conducting contract tracing efforts should be equipped with sufficient skills to apply an integrated tracing application, manage stigma and communication risks, and care for those quarantined, he remarked.

Despite the government's claim that Indonesia's COVID-19 case rate had currently stood at 13.78 percent, lesser than the global average of 25.22 percent, the contract tracing volunteers are still required to fight the country's battle against the disease.

COVID-19 initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and thereafter spread across the world, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government made an official announcement regarding the country's first confirmed cases on March 2 this year.

To help it win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that has posed a serious threat to public health and the economy, the Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Over the past few months, the government has made all-out efforts to secure the procurement and supply of potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through a bilateral and multilateral cooperation scheme.

The government is also supporting research efforts for developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, named after the colors of the national flag, Merah Putih (Red and White).

Through a bilateral cooperation, Indonesia has cooperated with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of this COVID-19 vaccine.

Indonesia has secured access to COVID-19 vaccines from China as a result of a meeting between the Indonesian delegation and the representatives of Cansino, G42, Sinopharm, and Sinovac in China on October 10 this year.
Related news: 408 tourists show reactive results for COVID-19 in West Java

Related news: 14 army hospitals equipped with mobile PCR labs: official


Translator: Aditya R, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020