Crucial Points on COVID-19 Made in BKSAP Webinar

21-04-2020 / B.K.S.A.P.

COVID-19 outbreak has forced everyone to change every aspect of their life. Everyone is required to voluntarily conduct self-quarantine and implement social and physical distancing. Every person throughout the world is even now more concerned with their personal hygiene and health than ever before. Virtual or online meetings or workings have become new routines nowadays. 


Parliaments have a significant role at the international stage to strengthen bilateral and multilateral contact and communication in handling the impact of coronavirus in various fields, such as health, economy and social culture. 


Chairperson of the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP) of the House made that statement in his presentation in a web seminar themed “the Role of Parliament for International Cooperation to Defeat COVID-19”, Tuesday morning Jakarta time (21/4/2020). 


“I appreciate the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) who has provided a compilation on how parliament coping with the pandemic situation today. More innovations from other inter-parliamentary organizations including the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) are expected to serve the interest of its members during a crisis. I would like to suggest to Vietnam, as the current President of AIPA, to urge the Secretariat of AIPA in finding innovative ways,” Fadli said in the video conference. 


Fadli suggested AIPA, as an organization of all ASEAN Parliaments, to function not only as a platform of regular contact and communication/assembly, but also as a South East Asia information pool on the COVID-19 and its related impacts. 


“I would also like to suggest for regular contact and or communication between the WHO Indonesia Office and the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation as a means to develop a Myth Buster Center in the Parliament including to update us with new development on the COVID-19 itself including the development of the vaccine,” he added. 


Responding to the statement of the BKSAP Chairperson, WHO representative for Indonesia, Dr. Navaratnasamy Paranietharan said that Southeast Asia could potentially become a new epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak, if there were no measurable restrictive efforts made to flatten the COVID-19 outbreak curve. In addition, global cooperation was needed to maintain the medical supplies such as testing kits, vaccine development, and the importance of information exchanges.  


“The most important thing is to share best-practices and research findings during this crisis. Best-practices are important to control the pandemic. South Korea is a good example as one of the countries that has successfully contained the pandemic by carrying out mass rapid test and other strategies without resorting to a total lockdown. Those are the kinds of things we need to share with each other,” he said in the presentation session.  


In addition to the two panelists, the virtual panel discussion that was open to public was also attended by many other keynote speakers. The Malaysian Parliament Deputy Speaker, Dato’ Mohamad Rashid Hasnon; The Chair of the Vietnamese Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Nguyen Van Giau; The Director General of Multilateral Cooperation of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard; The Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP, Armida Alisjahbana, were among who spoke in the web seminar. The web seminar also invited the most awaited keynote speaker, the Head of the South Korean National Assembly special committee for COVID-19 response, Kim Jin-pyo. 


As one of the countries that succeeded in flattening the corona virus pandemic case curve, Kim Jin-pyo shared three important lessons that were proven effective to cope with the pandemic in South Korea.  


“First, we carried out massive rapid tests as an early step of virus outbreak detection. Until today, we have carried out more than six hundred thousand free rapid tests provided by the government. Secondly, it is the citizens’ willingness to voluntarily self-quarantine and limit all kinds of activities. Lastly, the government provides instant and transparent information since the first case was confirmed, one of which is by giving a briefing regularly twice a day,” he explained.  


The Indonesian Government, in this case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done numerous bilateral, regional, and multilateral approaches in handling COVID-19. “We have taken a number of measurable and action-oriented international cooperation steps that have resulted in real benefits, including enacting repatriation for the Indonesian citizens from various countries. We also provide recommendation and supports for the information exchanges, international protocol development, and support for collaborative research development with numerous countries,” The Director General of Multilateral Cooperation of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard, concluded.  

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