Jakarta (ANTARA) - At least 4,788,286 persons have been screened for COVID-19 so far using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 4,069,067 people testing negative for the virus, the national COVID-19 task force revealed here on Monday.

As of Monday noon, Indonesia has recorded a total of 719,219 COVID-19 cases, 589,978 recoveries, and 21,452 fatalities. The country reported its first confirmed cases on March 2 this year.

The task force informed it has conducted real-time PCR-based antigen tests across the country, with 7,159,309 specimens examined so far. As of December 21, 2020, task forces have been set up for handling COVID-19 in 496 districts and cities in 34 provinces.

At present, five districts/cities in two provinces have imposed large-scale social restrictions as part of efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus infections among community members.

For handling COVID-19 cases, the task force has distributed more than 84 million items of medical gear to 34 provinces, and dispatched 43,399 medical and non-medical volunteers to 26 provinces.

Indonesia has been striving to contain coronavirus infections, which initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread across the globe, including to nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of the COVID-19 vaccine to help win the fight against the pandemic, which has posed a grave threat to public health and economy.

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

Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

It 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.

Regarding the government's COVID-19 vaccination program, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) recently announced his readiness to be the first recipient of the vaccine once the country's Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) issues an emergency-use approval.

He has been striving to convince the entire nation to participate in the vaccination program, which is considered crucial for the government's endeavors to end the pandemic. (INE)

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