Tanjungpinang (ANTARA) - Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head Lieutenant General Suharyanto reminded the Riau Islands administration to remain cautious against the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak despite zero cases currently.

"Despite zero cases in Riau Islands, the number of national cases is still relatively high," Suharyanto stated during the Coordination Meeting of the Riau Islands Foot and Mouth Disease Task Force at the Trans Convention Center Ballroom, Tanjungpinang, on Thursday.

He stated that since new cases emerged in April 2022, some 585 thousand livestock were confirmed to have been infected, though now, only 65 thousand had been confirmed.

He also commended the task force's performance, in which on the national scope, there were already 12 provinces, including Riau Islands, with zero cases.

However, he still reminded them to continue to anticipate the spread of the outbreak, as based on experience in East Kalimantan Province, after zero cases, there was a tendency of new cases arising and also multiplying.

"Therefore, the provincial FMD Task Force must work in unison with the district/city task force, because this situation is no joke. I am sure that Riau Islands can also become one of the provinces with the highest national FMD vaccination achievements," he said.

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Riau Islands Governor Ansar Ahmad remarked that the disease only spread in Batam City, whereas no cases to date were recorded in six other districts and cities of Tanjungpinang, Bintan, Karimun, Lingga, Natuna and Anambas Islands.

"However, since July 11, 2022, Riau Islands had zero cases, and we have also received a certificate of appreciation from the Agriculture Ministry," Ahmad said.

He affirmed that regardless of this, efforts still had to be made to maintain that status of zero cases -- both in areas in which there was infection or prevention measures in the zone deemed safe, known as green zone -- by ensuring cooperation from everyone and support from the task force.

This was marked by the establishment of the Foot and Mouth Disease Post and the task forces at the provincial level as well as district and city scope.

He responded positively to the coordination meeting in Riau Islands and expected that it would bear positive results.

"We also thank the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, who was present to lead the coordination meeting firsthand even at the provincial level. We truly appreciate this," he said.

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Translator: Ogen, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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