Collaboration is the Key to Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Since March 13, 2020, the Indonesian Central Government established a policy for handling COVID 19 by issuing Presidential Decree No. 7/2020 concerning the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling, with the Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) appointed as chairman. The Operations Assistant Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces and Operations Assistant to the Chief of the Indonesian National Police were appointed as deputies. The members of the Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling are appointed directly by the President including elements from the Ministry for Human Development and Culture, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Communication and Information, the Ministry of Education and Culture , the Ministry of Religion, the National Disaster Management Agency, the Indonesian National Army, the Indonesian National Police, and the Office of the Presidential Staff

From the composition of the Task Force, it seems that all of the members are from the government and there are no representatives from civil society organizations. This can be understood, as the nature of a Presidential Decree is an internal matter of government organizations. Prof. Achmad Nurmandi, Eko Priyo Purnomo, Ph.D and Dr. Zuly Qodir, lecturers in the Masters of Government Sciences at Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, held a limited discussion on Wednesday (3/18) in the MIP lecturer room of UMY, to see the escalation of the distribution of COVID 19 and its future trends, because the capacity and reach of the Task Force is considered to be very limited.

They suggest that it is better for the task force to involve civil society, private sector, media, religious figures, and other elements in the effort to overcome this epidemic.  Indonesia has a long experience in tackling disasters such as earthquakes, which can be passed along with high social awareness.

“With its large variety, we believe that the Indonesian people can overcome this disaster. Both public and private hospitals, including Muhammadiyah-owned ones, can be involved in testing samples of Monitored subjects (ODP) and Patients Under Supervision (PDP). The mass media must also play a role, even though it has been coordinated by media association, and is expected to help disseminate information that is fair and true. Then, private companies can help procure medical devices. The long experience of the Indonesian people in dealing with earthquakes, volcanoes and floods has become a useful capital or portfolio in dealing with this disaster, “said Nurmandi, the UMY Vice-Rector for Cooperation and International Affairs.

As a nation that is very diverse in ethnicity, religion, and social groups, we have an advantage compared to other countries. We have the social solidarity to maintain strong social cohesion. Therefore, in relation to the development of the Covid 19 virus which seem increasingly severe, solid cooperation between the government, religious organizations, universities and elements of civil society must be mobilized so that the Covid 19 virus disaster does not become a social disaster. “This is the time for fellow citizens to cooperate with each other, not to condemn, pout, or blame. We hope that the government and all elements of society synergize to overcome the spread of the Covid 19 virus so that it does not make this country and nation unstable, “said Nurmandi. (hbb)

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