Jokowi to lift Covid-19 emergency status within two weeks

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the President was “waiting for the right time” to do so.

Dio Suhenda

Dio Suhenda

The Jakarta Post


People take photographs in Ubud, a famous tourist destination in Gianyar regency, Bali, on May 6. (Antara/Fikri Yusuf)

June 15, 2023

JAKARTA – Following the recent removal of the country’s mask mandates, the last of its COVID-19 health protocols, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said he will end the state’s COVID-19 health emergency status within two weeks.

“We discussed this in a [Cabinet] meeting yesterday [on Tuesday] and decided to enter [the phase of treating COVID-19 as an] endemic,” Jokowi said on Wednesday, on the sidelines of an event in Jakarta. He said the lifting of the national emergency status would be officially “announced in the next one or two weeks”.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he had “just updated the President on the current pandemic situation in [Indonesia], other [Group of 20] countries, ASEAN countries, as well as alternative policies we can take [once the national emergency status is lifted”, reported.

The President himself would announce the lifting of the emergency status, Budi said, adding that Jokowi was only “waiting for the right time” to do so.

Budi said people should learn to live with COVID-19 as an endemic disease and take their own health precautions against it, noting that the virus would not go away even when the status is lifted.

“Washing our hands and wearing masks – these are things that the public can still easily do,” Budi said, adding that rapid testing kits, medicines and vaccines were also now widely available in drug stores across the country.

Read also: Indonesia’s airlines drop mask mandate

Budi went on to say that the World Health Organization (WHO) had commended Indonesia for its management of the pandemic and that the global health authority had given guidelines on how the country should deal with COVID-19 once the national emergency status was lifted.

While the WHO declared last month that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency, Jokowi has taken his time to follow suit. He previously said he was waiting for further recommendations from the Health Ministry on how to treat COVID-19 as an endemic illness and how to manage future pandemics.

Read also: Experts urge prudence in govt plan to end COVID-19 emergency status

Once the national emergency status is lifted, the government will disband the COVID-19 task force, which has been at the forefront of the country’s pandemic handling efforts, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said.

He added that people would also have to start paying for COVID-19 vaccines and treatment on their own or through insurance programs, such as the National Health Insurance (JKN).

Last week, the task force dropped mask mandates when in crowds, in indoor settings and on public transportation. (ipa)

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