Prabowo Subianto: “This is time for us to unite, time for us to cooperate, because it is a worldwide threat”

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Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto handed over the medical equipment aid provided by the People’s Republic of China. This aid will be used to help mitigate Corona virus (COVID-19) attacks in Indonesia. The handover was performed at the Indonesian Air Force’s Base Ops, Halim Perdana Kusuma, on Monday (23/03/2020). (Photo: IO/Bachren)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto has handed over health equipment aid obtained from the People’s Republic of China that will be used to help mitigate corona virus (COVID-19) throughout the country. The Minister symbolically handed over the aid from China to the Representative of the Hospitals appointed as referral hospitals for Covid-19 on Monday (23/03/2020) at Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Force’s Base , Jakarta. The handover was attended by the Minister of Health, Dr. dr. Terawan Agus Pu˝ˇtranto, Sp.Rad.(K); Speaker of the House (DPR), DPR Member Committee I Meutya Viada Hafid; Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, Commander of the Armed Forces, Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto; Primary Secretary of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), Ir. Harmensyah, Dipl.SE.M; Secretary-general of Mendef, Vice Admiral TNI Dr.Agus Setiadji; and Inspector-General of Mendef, Ida Bagus Purwalaksana. 

The Ministry of Defense in cooperation with the Armed Forces HQ have successfully performed a Humanitarian Aid program that would allow them to transport medical equipment from China to help Indonesian citizens fight the spread of Corona virus (COVID-19). The Humanitarian Aid was handed out by the Ministry of Defense of the People’s Republic of China with the support of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of a number of Chinese companies that have invested in Indonesia. 

The medical equipment aid provided included: Covid-19 Rapid Test Kits and Personal Protective Devices for medical workers, so that they can be protected in their efforts to suppress the spread of the pandemic throughout Indonesia. The Ministry of Defense cooperated with the Headquarters of the Armed Forces to transport the aid directly, using the Air Force’s C130 Hercules heavy transport airplane departed to China on Saturday (21/03/2020) and landed safely at Halim Perdana Kusumah Airport, Jakarta, on Monday (23/03/2020). 

After the symbolic handover, the Minister of Defense took the time to state that the medical equipment aid shows the seriousness of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and all of its constituent, as well as the sincere intent of China’s Government and businesses to work together to mitigate Covid-19. “We seriously consider this virus to be a threat to us all – not just to Indonesians, but to the whole world,” he said. 

To successfully mitigate Covid-19, Minister Prabowo requests that every part and group of society to cooperate and support each other. “This is time for all of us to unite, time for us to cooperate, because it is a worldwide threat,” he said. 

He further thanked everyone in the cooperative effort – the Government and investor companies of the People’s Republic of China for their generosity and humanity, and to members of the Army who bravely went to the origin of the disease to pick up the aid and help their citizens. On behalf of the Indonesian Government and citizenry, the Defense Minister further thanked all doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who are at the frontline of the battle waged by the nation against the Covid-19 threat. “We admire you, we respect you, doctors, nurses, hospital staff. You are the heroes of the current era. We promise to do our best in supporting you in your efforts to save Indonesian citizens,” he said. “We thank you for your devotion and sacrifice, and we acknowledge that some of you have lost to this disaster.” 

Prabowo likened the importance of doctors and nurses in battling a disease to the importance of the common soldiers in open warfare, and stated that the Government is ready to work hard to support them. “Earlier, in the times of open warfare, the soldiers were in the frontlines. Nowadays it is the doctors and nurses and other medical staff who are the heroes for the nation. We highly respect them and we are ready to do our utmost to support them,” he said. 

As for locking down as a response to the disease, Prabowo stated that the Government of RI does not wish to curb the activities of Indonesian citizens by restricting their movement. “We do not wish to become authoritarian. Many other countries have implemented strict measures. However, we wish to encourage the self-awareness of Indonesian citizens, to perform self-protection for our own sake,” he said. “Indonesia’s people, Indonesia’s condition, are very much different from that of other countries. The condition in each country is different. We cannot follow their measures because of different conditions and different people. We think of our people’s condition, and we swear to face this together. We encourage the people to be aware of the situation, as this would greatly help the Government to mitigate and suppress the spread of the Covid-19.” 

Prabowo reiterates that President Joko Widodo and everyone in the Government are working hard and will work even harder in order to be able to subdue the Covid-19 threat. “And we are certain that if we unite, we can go through this. We should not worry or panic: danger is everywhere, but we are brave and we will outlive this,” he said. (des)