A surge in cases is still possible...(we) must stay vigilant until the WHO declares the pandemic (status) has been revoked.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 emergency status in Indonesia is still in place even though the government has officially lifted the public activity restrictions (PPKM) policy, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Mohammad Syahril, said on Tuesday.

"Indonesia is still in this disaster (COVID-19) emergency, and President Joko Widodo is the one who issued the rule," he said here.

According to him, the PPKM policy is a form of government intervention derived from Presidential Decree Number 11 of 2020 on the declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency.

The PPKM policy is one of the instruments implemented by the government to control the COVID-19 pandemic while regulating work-from-home, setting emergency levels in regions, and issuing travel rules, he explained.

Syahril further said that revoking the COVID-19 emergency status will need special considerations on the part of the government.

The considerations include ensuring the COVID-19 situation can be controlled maximally. Apart from that, the government is still waiting for the revocation of the global pandemic status by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Indonesia is one of the countries that have received a warning from the WHO to remain vigilant, he noted.

"A surge in cases is still possible to occur again in Indonesia. Thus, (we) must stay vigilant until the WHO declares the pandemic (status) has been revoked," he said.

President Joko Widodo, on December 30, 2022, announced an end to the PPKM policy, which had been enforced to control COVID-19 transmission in Indonesia.

The revocation of the PPKM policy means that there will be no more restrictions on public activities and mobility, he said.

"However, I ask all people and the nation to remain careful and vigilant," the President said.

The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of January 3, 2023, the nation has recorded 6,721,095 COVID-19 cases, 6,551,477 recoveries, and 160,648 deaths.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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