The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has hailed the decision to postpone the regional head elections (pilkada), scheduled for September this year, on account of the coronavirus pandemic. The postponement was agreed upon by the House of Representatives (DPR), the General Election Commission (KPU), the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu), and the Electoral Honorary Council (DKPP). Komnas HAM appreciates the postponement of the implementation of the 2020 elections, Komnas HAM member Amiruddin said in a statement here on Friday as quoted by Antara. Continuing with the pilkada process amid the COVID-19 crisis would violate the basic human right of the Indonesian people to stay healthy and safe. Besides, it would also fuel concerns about election officers and voters being infected with the virus during the poll process, in case there are COVID-19 carriers among officers or voters, he added//Ant



The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has distributed 349,000 pieces of protective equipment (APD) to health workers dealing with COVID-19 cases in hospitals. As quoted by Antara News Agency, government spokesperson for COVID-19 handling, Achmad Yurianto, at a press conference on Wednesday in Jakarta stated as many as 349,000 protective equipment have been distributed to meet the needs of health workers who are at the forefront of handling COVID-19.  Yurianto explained 360 referral hospitals have been prepared by the government for handling patients under close monitoring (PDP), or COVID-19 positive patients.The hospitals belong to the military, the national police, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), or are privately owned. He said it is government  joint commitment. This is a serious problem that must be addressed in an integrated way by all parties. Currently, It is not less than 5,000 health workers have been deployed to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.Ant.==


As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths rises in Indonesia, the government says it will use modified diagnostics test kits for tuberculosis available at more than 132 hospitals and public health centers for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the week.

The government’s spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters, Achmad Yurianto, said on Wednesday that the government would start ordering cartridges for the rapid molecular test equipment that could detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, whereas previously the equipment was only outfitted with cartridges to detect tuberculosis bacteria.

“These changes will certainly not be easy, because it requires changes to the machines’ settings in addition to training the human resources and preparing the cartridges. But we are optimistic that it can be done starting this week,” Yurianto said at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that test runs may already be conducted that day.

He said the use of TB test kits could shorten the time it takes to carry samples from the hospitals to laboratories, adding that the test used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method that was more accurate than the rapid testing.

The decision came after the Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI) said the government could use TB test kits by modifying the cartridges. The modified cartridges were designed by American molecular diagnostics company Cepheid, which also produces expert TBM/RIF machines used to test for TB.

The technology also recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approving its use to detect COVID-19 in the US.

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease that endorses COVID-19 testing with the TB kits said the technology could accelerate the detection of the disease in low- and middle-income countries, returning results as quickly as in 45 minutes.

In the press conference, Yurianto also said the country had recorded 1,677 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday with 157 fatalities and 103 recoveries. Cases have now been found in 32 of 34 Indonesian provinces.

He also said the government had distributed around 475,200 rapid test kits to every provincial health office for early detection and contact tracing, adding that it also had distributed 349,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for medical workers across the country.


Jakarta (VOI News) - 

The Government of Indonesia through the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Jeddah has tried many efforts to protect Indonesian citizens in Jeddah amid quarantine steps taken by the Saudi Arabian government in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

This was revealed by the Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah Eko Hartono to Voice of Indonesia via telephone on Monday (30/03).

Eko Hartono said a number of Indonesian citizens in Jeddah felt the direct impact of the Saudi Arabian government policy. One of those affected is Indonesian citizens who work in Saudi Arabia and rely on daily salary income.

“What we are really worried about is that they are primarily our Indonesian Migrant Workers who are daily workers. This is our concern. Those who have to depend their lives on this poor daily work, for example a driver. Now, drivers can't work, and so can taxi drivers, bus drivers. They all become our concern. There are 168 something legal igrant workers in Jeddah, while the number of the illegal one is almost three folds, around 500 or 600 thousand. Well we are not sure about the faith of the illegal workers,” Eko Hartono said.

As of Monday, there were 1453 positive cases of Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia. Of these, 8 people died, while 115 others were cured.

The Saudi Arabian government had previously imposed the closure of a number of crowd points in order to reduce mass build-up in an area. The Saudi Arabian government has even imposed a curfew from 15 to 6 so that the spread of Covid-19 can be suppressed. (VOI/Ndy/AHM)

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