Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said that the government is targeting zero poll worker deaths in the 2029 elections, following a decline in the figure for this year's elections.

"This year's total case (number of election officer deaths) constitutes a decline of 80 percent as compared to those in the previous elections. We seek zero deaths in 2029," he informed at a press conference in the Health Ministry Building, Jakarta, on Monday.

Sadikin said that thanks to improved health screening, the number of poll worker deaths during the recent general elections stood at 84 as of Monday, a notable decrease compared to 554 in 2019.

"As of today, the death cases of 2024 electoral officers only account for 16 percent of the total number of cases recorded in the previous elections that crossed 500. This truly is a drastic decline," he pointed out.

He said that health screenings during this year's elections targeted as many as 6.8 million officers aged between 17 and 55 years, noting that a total of 6.4 million officers were declared fit following the screenings.

The minister then suggested that the government deploy health officers to all polling stations to perfect the screening strategy for the next elections in 2029.

He further said that local medics should proactively approach electoral officers who are at risk of collapsing and dying suddenly to monitor their blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation.

Sadikin added that it is necessary to take preventive measures much prior to Election Day to ensure that all officers are healthy and fit while on duty at polling stations.

The Health Ministry and Home Affairs Ministry will discuss new health screening schemes, he continued.

"To the government, particularly the Ministry of Health, one death is too many because it brings grief to the public," he said.

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Translator: Andi F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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