PMI keen to facilitate nationwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

PMI keen to facilitate nationwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

PMI General Chairman Jusuf Kalla (ANTARA/Dok)

Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) is willing to assist in the countrywide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines if their stocks are available before the vaccination program that may commence in the third week of December 2020.

PMI’s readiness was conveyed by its General Chairman Jusuf Kalla while speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of the Makassar-based Hasanuddin University's "arenatorium" building on Thursday.

Kalla noted that some 230 blood transfusion units of the PMI across Indonesia were prepared to function as vaccination centers, while thousands of PMI volunteers are assigned to assist the vaccine distribution process.  

According to South Sulawesi's PMI Office spokesman, Syahrul Rustam, over 200 blood transfusion units were ready to distribute the vaccines, including those in South Sulawesi Province.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan disclosed that the COVID-19 vaccination would likely commence in the third week of December 2020 as opposed to the early scheduled period of November.

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 on 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 COVID-19 vaccines.

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

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

Moreover, Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

It secured access to COVID-19 vaccines from China during a meeting between the Indonesian delegation and representatives of Cansino, G42, Sinopharm, and Sinovac in China on October 10 this year.
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