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Unlocking Potential: Indonesia’s Strategy of Dealing with COVID-19

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COVID-19 has completely changed the way we live. But as vaccination rates climb around the world, many countries are slowly beginning to open up, lifting restrictions on their populations and allowing in small numbers of foreign visitors.

In the latest episode of Unlocking Potential, Global CEO of Tanoto Foundation, Dr. J. Satrijo Tanudjojo, and The Minister of Health of Republic of Indonesia, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, jointly discussed the Indonesian government’s strategy to speed up the vaccination program for the country’s recovery.


Managing the spike in cases and vaccination for all

Most prior pandemics have taken time to get under control, said Budi Gunadi Sadikin. Therefore the strategy with COVID-19 has been to manage hospital capacity by ‘flattening the curve’, slowing the number of infections and thereby preventing medical services from being overwhelmed.

Budi Gunadi Sadikin explains three main strategies to reduce the transmission rate. First is changing our behaviour, for example promoting hand washing, social distancing and the use of face masks. The second strategy is a diagnostic strategy or the 3T (Tracing, Testing and Treatment), and the third strategy is vaccination. As suggested by the WHO, the three strategies should be implemented in parallel.

As with other countries, the vaccination program in Indonesia started with health workers and the elderly.“When the level of transmission of disease is under control and the vaccination rate has reached the sufficient number, then we have herd immunity or communal immunity,” explained Budi.

Moving forward, a nation dealing with COVID-19

With such a large population, the most important question for Indonesia is how to distribute the vaccines.

“Vaccination programs to control this pandemic cannot be initiated and conducted by the government only. The program of handling the pandemic should be adopted by all communities as a movement”, said Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Dr. J. Satrijo Tanudjojo also discuss the vaccine supply, boosters, and how the private sector and philanthropies such as Tanoto Foundation can play a role in the vaccine distribution program, and educate people to change their habits.


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