Pandjaitan on Tuesday evening, hosted a virtual meeting with FGDB members, to discuss the government’s current and future efforts to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I also seek your inputs, ladies and gentlemen, to face our (current predicament), particularly regarding the Delta variant of COVID-19. Your participation is needed to assist anything that has been done by the government to control the pandemic," the minister noted in a written statement here on Wednesday.
He affirmed that his side had formulated measures to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia: 3M and 3T as a means to reduce the potential of virus transmission; lessen contact duration; and increase vaccination.
Prof. Widodo from the Islamic University of Indonesia (UII) voiced his support to the government's current and future efforts, including in the regions of Java and Bali.
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He pointed out that several people looked down upon the COVID-19 Task Force's efforts and deemed it an utter failure.
"If somebody asks 'has the government failed in combating the pandemic?', it would be a wrong question, as the battle still rages on and it is not yet over," the professor noted.
Later that night on the same day, Pandjaitan hosted a coordination meeting, with attendees comprising regional heads from the Java and Bali regions, epidemiologists, IDI, economic experts, and representatives of university student's executive bodies in Java and Bali.
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He shed light on the pandemic-handling road map he had built, which was important for all stakeholders to decipher.
The minister stressed that the vaccination rates coupled with the implementation of 3M and 3T measures would play an important role in the revival of the economy. he urged everyone to meet the triad of requirements by this August as he had earlier mentioned.
"Every regional military commander and police chief should note down the results of their tracing in their respective regions, so we can forecast when we can achieve our target of 1:10. For regional governments, I also request their assistance to partake in supervising the tracing process. Everyone must unite. Every report must use the same language, so we can aim for our target better," he emphasized.
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Faisal Basri from the University of Indonesia highlighted the importance of involving university students. It should not only be limited to medical students, as others must also be involved in facilitating the implementation of the government's 3T program. For instance, they could work with the tracing team on the field.
Leon Alvinda Putra from the University of Indonesia Student Body and Raihan Ariatama from the Muslim Students' Association also voiced their support while expressing their readiness to help the government.
They also expressed their views and offered suggestions regarding COVID-19 handling in Java and Bali. These included involving final-year medical students as healthcare workers since it would be taken into account and be translated into course credits. It could also be tied to Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim's "Kampus Merdeka" program, so the medical students could still gain course credits.
Pandjaitan spoke of immediately contacting Makarim to discuss and realize the students' suggestions.
"I fully agree with Kampus Merdeka's objective, and I will immediately contact Minister Makarim to realize our student friends' request as soon as possible, so this pandemic can be handled together," he stated.
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