Indonesia delivered an expression of interest to join the COVAX Initiative, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
The COVAX Initiative aims to work with vaccine manufacturers to ensure that all supporting nations worldwide have fast and equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was quoted as saying by ANTARA here, Saturday.
Through the COVAX scheme, participating rich countries will be financing the COVID-19 vaccine from their national budgets and collaborating with 92 middle- and low-income nations through voluntary donations to ensure fair distribution of the vaccine, she remarked.
Indonesia alone belongs to a list of countries viewed as being eligible to obtain funding assistance for the COVAX Initiative for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Marsudi stated.
The COVAX Initiative, currently including nine candidate vaccines developed by applying varied technologies and scientific approaches, is aimed at obtaining and supplying two billion doses of approved vaccine by the end of 2021.
Currently, scientists globally are making all-out efforts to develop and produce safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner. To this end, Indonesia has expressed concerns over the risks and uncertainties related to their developments, she stated.
To this end, Indonesia has unswervingly drawn focus to the significance of having safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the minister stated during a virtual press conference from Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday.
Over the course of the past few months, the Indonesian government has endeavored to ensure adequate supply of vaccines for the entire nation.
To explore potential cooperation in the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Marsudi, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, and a team from the Health Ministry undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Marsudi had earlier noted that during the visit, the Indonesian delegates had held discussions on matters pertaining to the COVAX Initiative with related parties, including CEPI and GAVI.
Under the COVAX Initiative, once COVID-19 vaccines are available, they will be procured through the UNICEF Supply Division.
Under the cooperation scheme, the UNICEF has been mandated to coordinate the procurement and supply of the COVID-19 vaccine for over 140 nations, including Indonesia, to enable each country to have equal access and outreach to the vaccine.
The Indonesian delegation's visit to the UK and Switzerland is also expected to boost mid- and long-term cooperation between state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma and its overseas partners, Marsudi noted.(ANTARANEWS)
Indonesia launched a book titled "Indonesia South Africa: A South–South partnership in the Making" commemorating 25 years of diplomatic ties with South Africa, written statement of Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria, received here, Saturday, noted.
The book features a compilation of writings and perspectives of several contributors and scholars from Indonesia and South Africa on an array of topics, including historical relations, contemporary issues, and ideas of future endeavors to be explored further by both nations.
In a bid to further disseminate information on the book’s content and highlight bilateral relations between both nations, the Indonesian Embassy, in collaboration with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), convened a virtual book launch event, with participants comprising several hundred scholars, academics, government officials, and diplomatic corps from Indonesia and South Africa.
In his remarks, Indonesian Ambassador to South Africa, Salman Al Farisi, highlighted the robust historical ties between both nations, initiated since 1994, and concomitantly encouraged them not easily rest on their laurels since other areas of potential can be further tapped.
"We should look beyond what we have done and turn this longstanding relationship into mutually beneficial partnerships," Ambassador Al Farisi affirmed.
The main speaker at the occasion was Deputy Director General of Asia and Middle East of the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Ambassador Anil Sooklal, who emphasized in his remarks the importance of South-South Cooperation as well as the need to strengthen people-to-people contacts in these modern times.
The event was then followed by a deliberation session from contributors of the book: Prof. Muhammed Haron from the University of Botswana, Director General/Head of Policy Analyst and Development Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Siswo Pramono, Prof. Dirk Kotze from the University of South Africa, and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Durban Ebrahim Patel.
The event concluded with a call to parties of both nations to underscore the significance of intensifying relations between Indonesia and South Africa, forged a quarter of a century ago, to the desired level.(ANTARA)
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has readied 4,233 hotel rooms to accommodate asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers, under a Hospitality Industry Reactivation Program .
"This preparation is important, especially in implementing health protocols. The hotels being used for isolation of asymptomatic patients should not become new cluster. Hence we will be able to embark on new normal era better," Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy / Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency Wishnutama Kusubandio said in a statement here on Sunday.
The Tourism Ministry and the Health Ministry are currently working together in preparing the hotel rooms.
The 4,233 hotel rooms proposed by the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) belong hotels located in Jakarta, Bali and South Kalimantan.
The Health Ministry has verified 2,015 hotel rooms in Jakarta.
"Outside Jakarta, we have also prepared 500 rooms in Bali and 435 rooms in South Kalimantan for the isolation of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with mild symptoms as well as for accommodation of health workers," the ministry said.
The Tourism and Creative Economic Ministry has also prepared additional nine hotels in Jakarta and ten in Bali in case more hotel rooms are needed.
Wishnutama Kusubandio said that it is up to the Health Ministry to decide when the available hotel rooms will be used to accommodate asymptomatic patients, healthcare workers and security personnel involved in the COVID-19 response.
"I appreciate the readiness and support of the hospitality industry in this program. In accordance with President Joko Widodo's direction, the government continues to add isolation areas for COVID-19 patients without symptoms and mild symptoms in order to control the COVID-19 spread," he said.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan as Indonesia's Special Envoy, met Chinese Foreign Minister and member of the State Council Wang Yi, and discussed a number of bilateral cooperation related matters including COVID-19 handling strategies.
Minister Pandjaitan went to Yunan, China on October 9 and 10 after being invited by Minister Wang Yi, where both Ministers had further discussions on the topics of trade and investment, health, education and research, vaccine, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and cultural as well as people to people exchange.
In a statement received here, Sunday, Minister Pandjaitan explained that the Chinese government will follow up Indonesia's appeal for elevated market access for tropical fruits, fisheries product and seafood, swallow birds' nest and increased imports of Indonesian coal.
Minister Wang Yi will also push for the involvement of Chinese higher education institutions in the development of Conservation, Research, and Innovation Center for China-Indonesia Herbal Medicines in Humbang Hasudutan, North Sumatra.
"This center can be very rich with more than 30,000 species of herbs. I hope the support from Zhejiang University, Yunnan University, and the Center for Excellence in Medicinal Plants and Related Industries," Minister Pandjaitan said.
The "Two Countries Twin Parks" cooperation, was proposed by the Fujian Provincial Government last year, will also be followed up by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Pandjaitan hoped for the cooperation to be materialized soon.
From the Indonesian side, there is a location in Bintan covering an area of 4,000 hectares with relatively good supporting infrastructure. The concept of cooperation, he explained, can also be developed into "Two Countries Twin Parks with Multiple Zones", by preparing at least three industrial areas including Bintan, Batang and Aviarna Semarang.
Furthermore, he said the development project for the Tsinghua South East Asia Center on Turtle Island in Bali was also a raised by the Chinese Government.
During the meeting, Minister Pandjaitan expressed his hope for the Chinese government to encourage professors and experts to collaborate with the Tsinghua South East Asia Center and for technology companies such as Huawei and Tencent to invest there.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that his government always views the relationship between the two countries strategically. The two countries are expected to strengthen mutual political trust and continue to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.
"Cooperation in various areas has achieved incredibly fast progress," said Wang Yi.
In regard to the cooperation for vaccine technology transfer, Wang Yi said that Indonesia is a country with the strongest vaccine production capacity in Southeast Asia, and that it could provide an opportunity for Chinese companies.
"We will support our company to increase cooperation, especially sharing technology and experience, so that Indonesia can become a vaccine production center in the Southeast Asian region," he said.
In addition, the collaboration on the Poverty Alleviation Program based on science and technology learned from China's experience will also be one of the long-term strategic partnerships between the two countries.
Wang Yi will follow up on Minister Pandjaitan's request for China to share its experiences through this program and through the relevant ministries as well as institutions.
"In this pandemic era, we are still able to lift all poverty according to our targeted schedule, and this is the first time we have eliminated pure poverty in 5,000 years of history. We are willing to share experiences with Indonesia, and will connect with related offices," said Wang Yi. (ANTARA)