Indonesian president urges to achieve cross-country COVID-19 vaccination within this year

Wednesday, 2021-01-06 11:54:35
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A health worker takes blood samples from a man who violated the COVID-19 health protocol in Jakarta, Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asked the country's Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin to complete the mass COVID-19 vaccination program within this year.

The president, also known as Jokowi, made the request in a speech broadcast on Tuesday.

The world's fourth most populous nation will start its mass vaccination program on Jan. 13, as Jokowi is reportedly to be given the first shot.

For the first phase, the vaccine will be given to health workers ranging from doctors to nurses, followed by the army and the police as well as teachers. After that, the general public will be vaccinated.

"Although next week's vaccination will get started, I ask us to remain vigilant, not carelessly disciplined with health protocols, wear masks, wash hands, not go to crowded places, keep your distance," said Jokowi.

He expressed hopes that the vaccination program can accelerate the handling of the pandemic and that social activities can recover as soon as before.

"We hope that with the commencement of this vaccination we will be able to handle and control COVID," he said.

The country has received three million doses of vaccine. As of Tuesday, doses of vaccine have been distributed to all 34 provinces, according to media.

Latest data released by the Indonesian government showed the total cases of confirmed COVID-19 increased to nearly 780,000.

The coronavirus has claimed around 23,000 lives across the country.