From left, Coordinating Minister for Human Development Muhadjir Effendy, Jakarta Military Command Chief Maj. Gen. Eko Margiyono, National Covid-19 Task Force Head Doni Monardo, Jakarta Police Chief Insp. General Nana Sudjana and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

New Normal Transition Risks Spike of New Cases


JUNE 10, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told regional heads on Wednesday that the transition period to a "new normal" from the coronavirus pandemic should be handled cautiously to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

He said the regional heads must always refer to data and facts on the ground and coordinate their actions closely with the National Covid-19 Task Force.

"Regions with high number of cases and deaths must take precautionary measures. We will give them the data," Jokowi said while visiting the task force's headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Indonesia reported 1,043 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest rise in a day since the first cases were detected in the country in early March, bringing its total number of cases to 33,076.

Jokowi said both the central and regional governments use science-based comprehensive indicators that adhere to World Health Organization (WHO) standards in analyzing data from regional areas.

"To reopen an area we must follow the new normal guidelines, go through all the stages carefully. We can't afford any mistake that could lead to a new spike in the number of cases," the president said.

Jokowi also praised the Covid-19 Task Force at all levels, from central to regional, village, urban hamlet (RW) and neighborhood unit (RT).

The president also expressed his gratitude to medical workers, doctors, nurses, volunteers, soldiers and police officers who have worked with the utmost dedication to curb the spread of the pandemic. 

"They've worked hard almost non-stop to prevent Covid-19 from spreading even more widely," Jokowi said.

The president nevertheless said the task of flattening the curve of Covid-19 in Indonesia is still far from over with new cases continuing to occur in some areas.

The new normal protocol will remain in place until a vaccine is found, Jokowi said.

But the president warned that vaccine manufacturing and distribution will take a long time because there are multiple stages involved in the process of moving from research to clinical trial and then, hopefully, mass production.

Meanwhile, Jokowi asked Indonesians to adapt to a new set of customs and rules and prioritize following the health protocol in their daily activities.

"Adapting does not mean giving up. We have to learn these new habits according to the health protocol so everyone can be productive again but also safe from Covid-19," Jokowi said.