This is needed because COVID-19 active cases are still detected in other countries
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo urged the government to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for people traveling by air, sea, and land.

"(I am) asking the government to include the COVID-19 vaccine mandate into the requirements for travelers (who travel) by air, sea, and land," he noted in a statement here on Wednesday.

Soesatyo assessed that vaccination should become a requirement, as it can build immunity and influence a decline in COVID-19 active cases and also death cases.

The MPR speaker made the request following the issuance of Circular Number 16 of 2023 on health protocols for air travelers during the COVID-19 endemic transition period issued on June 12, 2023, by the Ministry of Transportation.

In the new circular, the ministry regulates several aspects, such as travelers being advised to continue their vaccination up to the fourth dose or second booster dose, especially for those having a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The MPR speaker also urged the Transportation Ministry to cooperate with the immigration authority to supervise travelers, especially those traveling from abroad, to ensure they comply with the new rules or requirements regarding health protocols amid the period of transitioning to the COVID-19 endemic.

"This is needed because COVID-19 active cases are still detected in other countries," he remarked.

Lastly, he expressed optimism that relevant parties would promptly conduct the dissemination of information regarding Circular Number 16 of 2023 to the community.

Under the efforts to boost the community's immunity, the Indonesian government launched a nationwide vaccination program on January 13, 2021, targeting as many as 234,666,020 citizens.

The data provided by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force showed that as of June 14, 2023, 203,856,359 Indonesians had received the first vaccine dose, 174,912,017 were administered the second dose, 68,965,796 had taken the first booster, and 3,265,918 had received the second booster.

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Translator: Tri Meilani, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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