Jakarta (ANTARA) - Legislators representing the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) let their August salaries be deducted to assist self-isolating COVID-19 patients and households severely affected by the pandemic.

The deduction of the PKS legislators' salaries for COVID-19 relief program was announced by Head of the PKS Faction at the House of Representatives (DPR) Jazuli Juwaini in a press statement that ANTARA received here Sunday.

"The deduction is made effective for the August salary. The PKS faction has repeatedly ordered its members' salaries to be deducted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Indonesia last year," he said.

For this month, the funds would be used to buy staple food and meal packages for those suffering from the impacts of COVID-19, including self-isolating COVID-19 patients, Juwaini said.

The second wave of coronavirus infections that has hit the country over the past two months has made lots of people severely suffer. Children get orphaned after their parents succumb to COVID-19, he said.

In dealing with this worrisome situation, the PKS Faction at DPR has repeatedly urged the government to prioritize people's safety, and improve Indonesia's healthcare system and services.

At the same time, the government must also provide and distribute its social aid packages to those in dire need based on reliable recipient data, he added.

The PKS Central Executive Board has also instructed all cadres across Indonesia to assist those suffering from the pandemic because many of them do not get access to the government's social aid program.

"That is why, the PKS faction agains orders its legislators all over Indonesia to let their salaries get deducted," he said.

The initiative is also part of the party's social solidarity, empathy, and spirit of "gotong royong" (mutual cooperation) as many elements in the society at large also show their same thing during the pandemic, he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic initially hit the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 and subsequently spread across the globe, 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 made incessant efforts to flatten the nation's coronavirus curve by applying healthcare protocols, and enforcing level 4 public activity restrictions.

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

As of August 6, 2021, Indonesia's total number of confirmed cases was recorded at 3,607,863 while there were 39,532 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the government's data.

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Translator: Imam B, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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