Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said he is planning to meet Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in May this year to discuss changing the status of COVID-19 in Indonesia from pandemic to endemic.

"I want to meet personally with the head of the WHO in May to discuss if we do it (change the status) is it right or proper or (to discuss) what is the right way, how is the right timing," he said during a visit to the Cempaka 3 Integrated Health Post (posyandu) in Cempaka Putih here on Wednesday.

He informed that his ministry has discussed the matter with echelon one officials of the WHO.

Sadikin further said that the WHO is letting the government of each country decide on changing the pandemic status to endemic. However, it has issued a note regarding the need to align the plan with other countries that are also planning to impose the endemic status.

So far, two countries have planned to declare COVID-19 endemic status: Japan and the United States.

"Since this is a global pandemic, it would be better if we coordinate between countries in the world," he said.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Mohammad Syahril, had said that the imposition of the endemic status in Indonesia still awaits the decision of the WHO and President Joko Widodo.

"Not only the Indonesian nation, but other nations are also trying to revoke the pandemic status when the parameters have been very under control," he confirmed on Tuesday (February 21, 2023).

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 February 21, 2023, the nation has recorded 6,734,606 COVID-19 cases, 6,570,110 recoveries, and 160,892 deaths.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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