Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is a lesson for Indonesia in developing better health infrastructure to face future potential pandemics.

"The COVID-19 virus is still mutating, and the WHO has warned that there is an unknown virus that can cause a pandemic. Hence, we must be prepared," the ministry's Head of the Public Communication and Service Bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said in a statement here on Sunday.

Tarmizi conveyed this statement in response to the third anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Indonesia.

The first COVID-19 case in Indonesia was reported on Monday, March 2, 2020, with a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter being the first and second patients, respectively.

She explained that COVID-19 still exists and is still mutating, but the number of new cases and fatalities is decreasing.

According to her, COVID-19 has provided the country with valuable lessons, such as the need to provide medical devices, vaccines, and drugs domestically, which has made the country more independent.

That way, Indonesia will not depend on other countries in the event of future pandemics.

In addition, because of the pandemic, Indonesia also strengthened its research and surveillance for the early detection of new viruses and anomalies in illness and death.

Furthermore, Indonesia also initiated the national immunization program, including the COVID-19 vaccination for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, people with comorbidities or severe obesity, pregnant women, and children under 12 years old who have immunocompromised disorders.

On a global scale, Indonesia initiated the Pandemic Fund during the G20 and ASEAN Chairmanship, which will be useful for increasing awareness, response, and handling of pandemics in the future.

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Translator: Mecca P, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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