(The transmission of) COVID-19 is still (occurring) around us, thus, people must remain vigilant.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government is currently developing a transition strategy to end the COVID-19 health emergency status in the country, Spokesperson for the Health Ministry Mohammad Syahril said here on Saturday.

"Earlier, Indonesia had prepared for the transition (of the COVID-19 status) from pandemic to endemic by having a consultation with the WHO (World Health Organization),” he informed.

He said that the Health Ministry had consulted Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as WHO representatives in Indonesia to prepare for the pandemic transition.

He informed said that the ministry welcomed Ghebreyesus’ decision to revoke the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) status for COVID-19 on Friday (May 5, 2023).

“The WHO considered that Indonesia's preparations for the transition (of the COVID-19 status) from pandemic to endemic were quite good,” he added.

Although the PHEIC status of COVID-19 has been revoked, people must still adhere to the health protocols, he said adding, the government will continue the vaccination program to increase protection for people at risk.

"(The transmission of) COVID-19 is still (occurring) around us, thus people must remain vigilant. The elderly and patients with comorbidities have the highest risk (of being exposed to the virus), so the vaccination program must still be carried out," he stressed.

He said that the government will also stay vigilant since the WHO has also emphasized the need for implementing a transitional strategy for the long-term handling of COVID-19.

The strategy includes implementing health surveillance in the community, preparing health facilities, ensuring the availability of medicines, as well as preparing national health policies and security to prevent the possibility of any pandemic outbreak in the future.

"We laud all medical workers who have strived together, thus the transmission of COVID-19 in Indonesia can be maintained, and currently, we are working together to end the emergency (the COVID-19 pandemic status)," the spokesperson added.

Earlier, head of the communication and public services bureau of the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated that the government is preparing the process for revoking the COVID-19 pandemic status, in accordance with the WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for 2023–2025.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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