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Indonesia to Apply COVID-19 Strategy to Contain FMD Outbreak

Antara - 24 June 2022 17:35 WIB
Indonesia to Apply COVID-19 Strategy to Contain FMD Outbreak
The FMD Task Force will comprise personnel from the central and regional governments. (Photo: medcom.id)
Jakarta: The Indonesian government will form a Task Force for Handling Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), which will apply the COVID-19 handling strategy to control the outbreak, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has informed.

The FMD Task Force will comprise personnel from the central and regional governments, the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), and National Police (Polri), as well as veterinarians, animal husbandry experts, and officials from veterinary drug associations, who will undertake tasks ranging from data collection to prevention.
BNPB head Lieutenant General Suharyanto said that the formation of the FMD Task Force will be in line with the directions of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). The task force will be integrated with the stakeholders in the ministries of agriculture, home affairs, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, and BNPB from TNI and Polri elements.

Suharyanto said that so far, there is no specific treatment or antivirus available for treating FMD in livestock. Therefore, stakeholders need to increase livestock's immunity and vaccinate uninfected livestock.

"The task force will also support the development of supporting alternative therapies such as convalescent plasma. Later, we will discuss this since the antivirus has not been found," he said at an online meeting here on Friday.

Just like the strategy used at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic before vaccinations were rolled out, the government will inject convalescent blood plasma from healthy cows into sick cows. Suharyanto expressed the hope that the convalescent plasma treatment would help infected livestock.

In addition, he asked regional heads to comply with the distribution of 1.8 million doses of the FMD vaccine that have been prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture for 19 affected provinces. The vaccination is aimed at preventing healthy livestock from getting infected with FMD.

He said that handling the FMD outbreak will also require strategic steps so that the state's economy and people's lives do not get affected.

“Hopefully, with our experience in handling COVID-19, we can also apply it in FMD handling," he added.
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Suharyanto also reminded that the formation of the FMD Task Force would become a reference for regional governments to develop and organize regional FMD Task Forces, especially in areas with no FMD cases.

"We have to remain vigilant and careful because the transmission from two provinces to 19 provinces has been very fast. We do not want all provinces in Indonesia to be infected with FMD. Other regions with no FMD cases must pay attention to this," he added.

(WAH)

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