Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) mourned and expressed his deep condolences to the families of 100 frontline doctors, who died of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and lauded their hard work and diligence.
"Mr. President extends his condolences over the deaths and highly lauds the doctors and paramedics, who have worked so hard and well," presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman noted in a statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic afflicting Indonesia, frontline doctors and paramedics have demonstrated dedication and professionalism, he remarked, adding that every Indonesian must also remain disciplined in applying health protocols.
The government has called on all Indonesians to exercise discipline in terms of wearing face masks, washing hands, and maintaining social and physical distancing to ensure that hospitals and paramedics do not get overwhelmed by a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, he remarked.
Medical personnel would be overburdened if they had to handle an increasing number of infected people. Hence, all members of communities must contribute to efforts to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, Rachman remarked.
The government has urged medical workers and hospitals to remain disciplined in implementing work shifts and restricted working hour systems since they are, in fact, the last resort for those suffering from COVID-19, he remarked.
The government has provided complete protective health gear and incentives to frontline doctors and paramedics to ensure their protection, he stated.
In the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian government has applied three strategies for ensuring the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for its people, including working towards finding the vaccines produced by foreign parties all over the world.
The second strategy aims at promoting research and production collaborations of Biofarma, universities, as well as domestic and foreign institutions, while the third approach is supporting the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology's research on vaccine, he remarked.
Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, while the Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.
To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the Indonesian economy contracting 5.32 percent in the second quarter of this year, the government is leaving no stone unturned, especially in the development of a vaccine against the virus.
Currently, in addition to China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, Indonesian scientists are working on a vaccine named after the country's national flag, Merah Putih (Red and White).
Discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021 may help Indonesia's economy to recover at the latest by mid-2021, according to Iman Sugema, a senior economist with the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef).
"Economic recovery really relies on how immediate the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine is. If it can be achieved on time, Indonesia's economy will rebound in mid-2021," Sugema stated.
EDITED BY INE