Because our success in handling COVID-19 must be used to handle other plagues
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health has continued to increase vigilance against infectious diseases, especially ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday, according to the ministry's Director General of Disease Prevention and Control Maxi Rein Rondonuwu.

The ministry has also continued to carry out monitoring at health offices in regions, Rondonuwu said here on Monday.

He made the statement after attending the "Appreciation and Learning of the Community Empowerment Risk Communication Program and COVID-19 Vaccination Support" event at Grand Kemang Hotel.

He informed that even though the COVID-19 pandemic status has been revoked by President Joko Widodo, the Health Ministry is actively issuing appeals and warnings to regional health offices regarding any potentially infectious diseases that may emerge.

He emphasized the importance of educating the community, especially older adults, people living with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups, about new infectious diseases.

"Because our success in handling COVID-19 must be used to handle other plagues," he added.

He said that the community must continue to follow a clean and healthy lifestyle to prevent infectious diseases.

"The President has announced that we (are starting to enter) the endemic (phase). Endemic does not mean the disease has finished (spreading); the virus is still there. However, it is considered a common disease," he explained.

Therefore, people still need to remain vigilant by wearing masks if sick, implementing a clean and healthy lifestyle, and getting vaccinated, he said.

According to him, the government is currently preparing a routine vaccination program that will be prioritized for older adults.

"The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the COVID-19 vaccination needs to be integrated into routine vaccination based on the cycle, and older adults will be included in the routine vaccination program," he said.

"The government will bear (the cost) for older adults because the death rate is high," he added.

The Health Ministry cooperated with the Australia Indonesia Health Security Partnership (AIHSP) and non-profit organization Save the Children to hold Monday’s event.

The event was aimed at providing a wider range of vaccination services to the public, including vulnerable groups.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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