They may function as informants. They can inform us if there are persons in their neighborhood areas who must immediately be traced
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 task force has recruited seven thousand contact tracers in 10 provinces to assist in COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts by tracing potential coronavirus cases.

The recruitment process was conducted in 1,612 public health centers in 51 districts and cities in the 10 targeted provinces, head of the COVID-19 task force's tracking division, Kusmedi Priharto, told participants at a webinar here on Thursday.

The 10 targeted provinces are Aceh, North Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, and Papua.

Tracing people who have potentially been infected by others is not an easy task because it is time sensitive, therefore, the government has decided to increase the number of contact tracers in the 10 provinces, Priharto said.

As part of coronavirus prevention and mitigation efforts, the task force is also collaborating with neighborhood authorities, subdistrict heads, and community-based volunteers to support contact-tracing endeavors in the targeted areas, he said.

"They may function as informants. They can inform us if there are persons in their neighborhood areas who must immediately be traced," he explained.

Contact tracing efforts are not just being made manually, but also digitally, he added.

Indonesia's Health Ministry has collaborated with the COVID-19 task force to launch a program to bolster contact tracing efforts in 10 government-prioritized provinces by initially recruiting contact tracing volunteers and data managers.

ANTARA has reported that those recruited for contract tracing efforts have sufficient skills to apply an integrated tracing application, manage stigma and communication risks, and care for those who have been quarantined.

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 officially confirmed the country's first COVID-19 cases on March 2 this year.

In 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 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 secured vaccine supplies from China and the United Kingdom.

It 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.

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Translator: M.Zulfikar, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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