COVID-19: Indonesia transitions from health emergency phase

COVID-19: Indonesia transitions from health emergency phase

Tourists wearing masks in Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, on Saturday (May 6, 2023). (ANTARA PHOTO/FIKRI YUSUF/FR)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia has started its COVID-19 transition from a health emergency by implementing a long-term mitigation plan after bringing coronavirus infections under control.

“The revocation of the global emergency status means transitioning from the emergency phase to the non-emergency phase. Global citizens must be ready to live side-by-side with COVID-19," Health Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Syahril said on Tuesday.

The revocation of the global health emergency status does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer a health threat, he underlined at an online press conference on COVID-19 mitigation development in Indonesia.

This is because the coronavirus could still exist for a long time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revoked the global health emergency status on May 5, 2023, based on a global parameter showing a decline in the COVID-19 death toll, Syahril informed.

The status was also revoked based on the number of COVID-19 patients at hospitals and intensive care units as well as citizens' immunity level, he said.

After the status was revoked, the Indonesian Government implemented a long-term mitigation system integrating prevention and control efforts into routine health programs, namely those related to surveillance and vaccination.

Syahril informed that the WHO has carried out the strengthening of 10 pillars of response in all countries.

These response pillars encompass financing planning coordination, risk communication and public empowerment, surveillance, international entryway monitoring, and laboratory and diagnosis strengthening to control and prevent infections.

The pillars also cover case management and medication, logistics, essential health service strengthening, as well as vaccine, research, and policies.

The WHO has advised all countries to improve their national capacity to confront future pandemics or epidemics.

It has also suggested integrating COVID-19 vaccination into the national routine health program as well as improving surveillance of respiratory tract diseases.

"Indonesia was also asked to prepare a long-term national policy for every health intervention, whether it is medicine, vaccination, diagnostic tools, and others. Their availability must be ensured," Syahril said.

Countries have also been advised to strengthen research on COVID-19 to prepare future prevention programs. 

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