Parliament restricts attendance at meetings to curb COVID spread

Parliament restricts attendance at meetings to curb COVID spread

House of Representatives' (DPR) secretary general Indra Iskandar. (ANTARA/HO-House’s Public Relations/am)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) has capped the physical attendance of members at meetings at 20 percent capacity to check the spread of COVID-19, the House’s secretary general has said.

The House's Steering Committee (Bamus) forum has suggested that meetings be attended by just two chairpersons and representatives of factions, Indra Iskandar informed here on Friday.

As of Friday morning, 154 people working at the parliament building, including 19 members of parliament (MPs), had contracted the novel coronavirus disease, he said.

In addition, 36 civil servants, 44 government workers, 23 expert staff members, and 32 cleaners were also infected with the virus, he disclosed.

Ten of the 19 infected MPs are in recovery, Iskandar said, adding that he met with several of them. "They are in good health," he said.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 among MPs and those working or visiting the parliament building, the House has implemented strict health protocols, he added.

Over the past few weeks, Jakarta and several other provinces across the country have witnessed a significant increase in new COVID-19 cases.

In response to the alarming resurgence of cases, President Joko Widodo has highlighted the necessity for state institutions and all levels of government to be on the same wavelength.

"I want to remind all of us that the pandemic is not over yet. We must be vigilant," he said on Friday.

The current situation that Indonesia is facing is still an extraordinary one and must be responded to with fast and appropriate policies, the President added.

Such a fast and appropriate response requires state institutions, the central government, and regional governments to be on the same frequency, he said.

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

The Indonesian government announced the nation's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

Since then, the central and regional governments have striven incessantly to flatten the nation's coronavirus curve by applying healthcare protocols and social restrictions.

As part of efforts to win the fight against COVID-19, the Indonesian government has also been conducting a nationwide vaccination program to contain infections since January 13, 2021.

Indonesia recently received 10 million doses of bulk vaccines from China’s Sinovac.

As of June 20, 2021, the nation has received 104,728,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, comprising 94.5 million Sinovac vaccines, 8.228 million AstraZeneca vaccines, and 2 million Sinopharm vaccines.

The Indonesian Health Ministry has estimated that vaccinating the 181.5 million recipients targeted by the nationwide immunization program would take around 15 months.

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