Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Officials of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are meeting at the Skouw integrated cross-border post (PLBN) in Jayapura on Thursday to discuss a plan to resume cross-border trade activities, a local government official stated.

Head of the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, Allen Simarmata, is also part of the Indonesian delegation at the meeting, Head of the Border and Overseas Cooperation at the Papua Provincial Administration Suzanna Wanggai told ANTARA here, Wednesday.

Issues pertaining to reopening of cross-border posts of the two countries to revive cross-border trade activities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation are scheduled to be the meeting's main agenda, Wanggai remarked.

The reopening of cross-border posts will enable the citizens of both nations to re-engage in trade activities in the Skouw market through stringent adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, she stated.

The delegates will discuss practical matters needed on the ground if the Skouw Market was reopened amid the pandemic situation, Wanggai remarked, adding that the market was shut down since the COVID-19 outbreak struck Indonesia and PNG last year.

Indonesia and PNG have continually striven to win their fight against the global coronavirus disease pandemic that has acutely impacted their economy and public health.

The Indonesian Government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program to contain infections since January 13, 2021.

As of Wednesday, the number of fully vaccinated Indonesians has reached 9,366,635, while the total count of those receiving their first COVID-19 jab was recorded at 14,099,754.

According to the Indonesian Health Ministry, it will take about 15 months to vaccinate about 181.5 million people under the national program.

"We need 15 months to accomplish it. The time frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January 2021 to March, 2022," Health Ministry's spokesperson for the vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated recently.

During the period, the government is targeting to inoculate about 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, she informed.

Tarmizi noted that the first phase of the government's immunization program has been divided into two periods: January-April 2021 and April 2021-March 2022. Related news: Indonesia's Skouw-Wutung border post temporarily closed: Mily
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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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