Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry prepares a long-term guide to COVID-19 governance after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency, according to an official.

"We are currently preparing the COVID-19 governance guide for the future in accordance with the COVID-19 2023-2025 preparedness and response strategy that has been formulated by WHO to serve as a guide for countries in transitioning towards long-term COVID-19 management," head of bureau for communication and public services at the ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, affirmed here on Saturday.

Tarmizi stated that the government pays attention to the result of International Health Regulation (IHR) Emergency Committees, in which they recommended the end of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) status, which eventually is approved by WHO's director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"We have also consulted with Director General of WHO and WHO's team, both in Geneva and Jakarta, in order for Indonesia to prepare the transition in pandemic some time ago, even before the end of PHEIC status has been announced some time ago," she stated.

The measures undertaken by the government in response to the situation encompass improving public health surveillance, health facilities, and drugs, as well as preparing other health policies, Tarmizi elaborated.

She deemed those measures to be crucial in establishing national health security, as preparation to face risks of other pandemics in future.

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Although the global emergency status has ended, COVID-19 would still linger among the people for a very long time, she remarked.

"Remember that COVID-19 is still among us, so the people must stay cautious. Elderly people and people with comorbidities are still at the highest risk, so vaccination still needs to be taken, including (following) health protocols, (that being) the use of masks for those who are sick or within crowds," she reminded.

On Friday, May 5, the WHO announced that COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency.

"For more than a year, the pandemic has been on a downward trend, with population immunity increasing from vaccination and infection, mortality decreasing, and the pressure on health systems easing," WHO's director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted in a press conference in Geneva.

The trend has allowed most countries to live life just like before the pandemic hit the world, he remarked.

"It is therefore with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency," he affirmed.

Near seven million people lost their lives to the virus ever since the first time the WHO set the emergency status on January 30, 2020.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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