Jakarta (ANTARA) - Free COVID-19 medicine packages announced by the government would be delivered to patients in self-isolation who are already registered with community health centers (Puskesmas) or village midwives, Indonesian military chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said.

The distribution of the medicine packages would be based on triage identification by village apparatuses, public health centers, or midwives, he informed.

"In line with the procedures, because we have village-based self-isolation, Puskesmas or village midwives have conducted triage (risk-based patient identification to determine) whether they (the patients) are asymptomatic, mildly, moderately, or severely symptomatic. All this data is available with Puskesmas or midwives," he said at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta in a speech that was broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat's YouTube account on Thursday.

Hence, only registered patients in self-isolation would get free medicines, he stressed.

Officials in Puskesmas or villages would be accompanied by village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa) when they distribute drug packages to patients undergoing self-isolation, Tjahjanto said.

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President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Thursday launched the distribution of 300 thousand packages of medicines and vitamins among COVID-19 patients undergoing self-isolation.

Under the initiative, the government will provide three types of medicine packages to self-isolating COVID-19 patients for seven days, he said.

"This package contains vitamins for residents with positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) results, but (who are) asymptomatic (OTG). This is package 1," the President stated while holding up a box containing drugs and vitamins.

"Package 2 contains vitamins and medicines for residents with positive PCR results and experiencing fever and loss of smell (anosmia)," he added.

"For this package, consultations and doctor's prescriptions are required, especially from doctors from puskesmas (community health centers)," he said.

The third type of package contains vitamins and medicines for residents with positive PCR and complaining of fever and dry cough, Widodo said. The package will also require consultation and a doctor's prescription, he added.

The President reiterated that implementing the emergency Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) policy is necessary to stem the rate of spread of COVID-19 in the country.

"The three medicine packages are not for sale," he added.

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Translator: Indra A Pribadi, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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