Jakarta (ANTARA) – As many countries struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the health and economic sectors for the past two years, Indonesia has chosen “Recover Together , Recover Stronger” as the theme of his G20 presidency.
The country has identified three priorities within the G20 Health Working Group (HWG), according to Dr Siti Nadia Tarmizi, Secretary of the Public Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health.
Priorities are building global health system resilience, harmonizing global standards of health protocols, and expanding global manufacturing and knowledge centers for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
“Having learned a lesson on handling COVID-19, the Indonesian G20 Presidency aims to encourage the world to recover together and stronger in the post-COVID-19 pandemic (era). This is the message” , remarked Tarmizi.
Therefore, the country hopes that the G20 will commit to develop a mechanism for mobilizing financing resources and health facilities and infrastructure, especially for countries that cannot afford to finance the management of COVID-19. .
“Indonesia has a solid base in Gotong Royong (mutual aid). This will be forwarded. under the spirit of Gotong Royongit doesn’t matter whether a country is capable or not, but every nation should contribute to help each other,” Tarmizi said.
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Under the Indonesian presidency, the G20 is expected to hold three HWG meetings. The first meeting was organized in Yogyakarta from March 28 to 30, 2022.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said synchronization of global health protocols could start with G20 countries to enable smoother application and facilitate international travel.
“We can start with the G20. This way it will facilitate the adoption of this health protocol standard in other countries,” Minister Sadikin said during a G20 HWG press conference on “the harmonization of global health protocol standards” in Yogyakarta on March 28.
The measure aims to ensure that there are unified standards when it comes to regulations on PCR testing and quarantine, among others, which currently differ from country to country.
The Minister said health protocol standards for international travel may be subject to change, as may the global immigration system.
He further stated that he is confident that the adoption of global health protocol standards can be achieved given the current state of digital technology development.
So far, Indonesia has had bilateral discussions with Saudi Arabia to integrate PeduliLindungi with the Tawakkalna app.
Indonesia has also held discussions with communities in ASEAN and a number of European countries to integrate the PeduliLindungi app so that the same regulatory standards on PCR, quarantine and others can be applied.
This way, people can still travel the world while adopting a healthy and cautious approach.
Minister Sadikin underlined that each country will always have the possibility to apply its own requirements.
Countries will have the freedom to apply the rules of the health process in their country, with clear and open procedures easily accessible to the whole world.
“Harmonizing global standards of health protocols does not equate to procedures. Countries are still allowed to have different procedures. Our harmonization must respect each country’s sovereignty which we cannot interfere with,” Sadikin added. .
In response, the head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) digital health technologies unit, Garret Mehl, said that it was possible to integrate digital health document applications.
“I could call it a digital health card. We could see a digital version of a vaccination card or a lab test result card, and ideally that would be something worth checking out. be used if there was another pandemic,” he said. .
Thus, an equal technological infrastructure would be important in every country for digital health records.
Following a discussion, delegates at the HWG meeting accepted Indonesia’s proposal to harmonize global health protocols.
“We have obtained an agreement from the G20 countries regarding the harmonization of health protocols and the recognition of vaccine certificates for travel,” Director General of P2P at the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, told the press on 29 March.
As part of the harmonization of global health protocols, G20 countries will encourage digitalization for mutual recognition of vaccines and universal verifiers.
When discussing the implementation of the digitalization process, Indonesia highlighted the need to address security and interoperability issues between countries and regions.
It is hoped that harmonizing health protocol standards and recognizing COVID-19 vaccine certificates upon entry from various countries would encourage global mobility and accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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