Along with the current pandemic handling activities, the BIN continues to develop the capacity and capability of medical intelligence
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) General Police (Ret.) Budi Gunawan called for Indonesia to have reliable medical intelligence at the earliest in a bid to prepare for future threats.

"Along with the current pandemic handling activities, the BIN continues to develop the capacity and capability of medical intelligence," Gunawan noted in a written statement received here, Monday.

The effort is deemed necessary on account of the fact that the easing on social restrictions does not translate to the fact that the pandemic will end soon. There will always be a likelihood of COVID-19 or its derivative variants re-emerging, Gunawan noted.

"Hence, it is time for Indonesia to possess strong medical intelligence," he emphasized.

The BIN head explained that the surveillance objects of medical intelligence were not solely viruses but also several elements, such as nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.

In accordance with Law Number 17 of 2011 on State Intelligence, the BIN must be at the forefront in maintaining national security.

"Based on the latest data and facts as well as medical intelligence forecast in the subsequent years or decades, we know that viruses will continue to emerge," Gunawan remarked.

In addition to being ready and alert, Indonesia is required to have an adequate level of independence in order to be able to cope with various biological and chemical threats, he affirmed.

Since the emergence of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the BIN has activated its medical intelligence unit with various detection, identification, assessment, response, and handling activities. This encompasses collaborating with other institutions.

"The BIN is also involved in research and production of national vaccines, medical devices, and medicines," Gunawan added.

Nevertheless, the BIN head affirmed that it was time for Indonesia to have medical intelligence that is capable of facing various threats in future.

Gunawan pointed to a rise in the types of threats in Indonesia's security and safety. The virus that appears is only a part of the medical intelligence objects. Several other threats are either man-made due to world tensions or geopolitical changes.

Moreover, it includes natural threats due to climate change that encourages the emergence or mutation of viruses and germs. Various studies show that climate change will bring consequences in the form of serious health threats now and in the future, he concluded.

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Translator: Muhammad Zulfikar, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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