NGOs demand government apologise for failing to control Covid-19 pandemic

CNN Indonesia – July 7, 2021
Grave diggers in protective clothing rest after burying Covid-19 victims – Undated (Antara)

Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition for Public Health is calling on the government to apologise over the state of the Covid-19 pandemic which they say is getting out of control.

The Coalition is made up of a number of groups including the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI), Amnesty International Indonesia, Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), the Covid-19 Citizen Reporting Coalition, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Kurawal Foundation and the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI).

Coalition representative Muhammad Isnur from the YLBHI said that the government must immediately take extraordinary steps to bring down the rate of emergency hospitalisations.

"One of them is apologising to the public over this situation and providing concrete solutions to families who are struggling to get treatment at hospitals, ICUs and other medical services", said Isnur in a press release on Wednesday July 7.

He also said that the government must immediately conduct an evaluation of the poor handling of the Covid-19 epidemic. After this, the government must immediately take full responsibility for controlling Covid-19 nationally.

He reminded the government that this is regulated under Law Number 6/2018 on Health Quarantine, Law Number 24/2007 on Disaster Management and Law Number 4/1984 on Transmissible Diseases.

"Including integrated policies to handle the pandemic between regions", he said.

Isnur also said that the Coalition is asking the government to provide adequate healthcare facilities, from medical equipment to medicines which are needed by the public.

The government, he said, must also provide information to counter fake news about types of medication and dealing with Covid-19.

"And control speculators who are taking advantage of this situation by raising the price of medicines, by providing and distributing medicines needed by the public", he said.

Finally, said Isnur, the Coalition is asking the government to stop using communication to create an image that the situation is good and shift to communication of the risks which is empathic, accountable and reflects the emergency situation that exists.

Not only that, the Coalition also warned that the government must be open and accountable about the real situation facing healthcare facilities on the ground in order to generate vigilance among the public so they will comply with health protocols.

"The government has failed to provide [adequate] public healthcare facilities in an emergency situation", he said. (tst/ain)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Koalisi LSM Tuntut Pemerintah Minta Maaf Gagal Kontrol Covid".]