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Tourism Ministry Facilitates the Use of Hotels and Transportation for Medical Workers and Task Force Officials

 

Press Release
Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency

Jakarta, 28 March 2020 – The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf), Wishnutama Kusubandio, has officially handed over to the COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), to utilize hotels and transportation services for medical workers, which are in the front line in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry had established cooperation with Accor Group to provide accommodation for medical workers and Taskforce officials, along with Bluebird, Panorama, Antavaya, and Whitehorse to provide transportation. The technicality to use the accommodation and transportation facilities would be coordinated by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

“The cooperation with the hotel chains is to provide temporary accommodations for medical workers and task force officials in several regions, “as stated by Minister Kusubandio during the press conference to support the COVID-19 Task Force at the BNPB building on Saturday, 28 March 2020 in Jakarta.

Wishnutama explained that the hotels which will be used to accommodate the medical workers and task force officials are intended so that they may stay near the hospitals treating COVID-19. In its initial stage, the Ministry has worked together with Accor Group in providing 615 rooms, which has been set up according to the needs of four marker hospitals for COVID-19, namely: RSCM, RSPAD, RS Sulianti Saroso, and RS Persahabatan.

“These numbers of rooms would be able to accommodate 1,100 medical workers with mix twin and single rooms format”, as stated by Wishnutama.

The hotels have followed the relevant Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) as required by the Ministry of Health, in relation to the handling of COVID-19, including routine disinfectant spray at the hotel entrance, sanitation activities, social distancing in all area of the hotel such as in the lift, minimizing direct service interaction and other measures which has been recommended by the Ministry of Health.

All of the medical workers, as well as the hotel staff, will undergo several anticipatory measures such as temperature checks, disinfectant gate, and the use of protective gear, which is a mandatory protocol in anticipating the spread of COVID-19.

The hotels have also implemented particular SOP in conducting their daily duties for the staff that has direct and indirect interaction with the medical workers, such as housekeeping, starting from sanitation procedure, cleaning frequency, and provision of extra amenities. 

In moving forward, Wishnutama stated that the Ministry is also open for cooperation with other hotels, in which the hotels will have to follow the procedure and requirements, such as proximity of the hotel is near the marker hospitals and the hotel shall not terminate the employment of its staff during the course of this pandemic.

Wisnutama explained that the cooperation with several parties is in accordance with the Presidential Instruction Number 4/2020 regarding the refocusing of activities, reallocation of budget, and procurement of services and goods to tackle COVID-19.

“The President had emphasized that the government puts significant attention to the tourism sector, as it is one of the leading sectors for the economy, nevertheless to tackle the impact of COVID-19. Thus it requires the cooperation of several stakeholders.”

This cooperation is not only a joint effort, but it is also to protect the hotel and transportation industry, which are part of the national tourism industry.

The tourism sector is one of the sectors affected by COVID-19. Based on the data from PHRI, the occupancy rate in hotels across Indonesia has fallen by 50% until mid-March and will potentially continue to decline.

“This humanitarian mission is no longer about cost and benefits, but it is about human lives. I urge everyone, including tourism sector businesses, to assist in guarding Indonesia to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is time to share and help. Together we guard Indonesia,” as stated by Wishnutama.

At the same occasion, Lieutenant General Doni Monardo, Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and Head of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force stated that the Ministry’s presence at the BNPB building is a sign of support for the medical workers, especially the doctors, nurses, medical staff, ambulance, and hearse drivers. 

“Thank you to the Minister for its support to our first line of defense, namely our medical workers, which are currently battling the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic,” as stated by Doni.

He stated that presently support is always given and continues to flow; however, he also urged all parties to used community-based collaboration.

“We hope that this is not only implemented at the central level but also until provincial, district/municipality, sub-district/village, even to the neighborhoods (RT/RW). We have to be confident that we can overcome this virus threat. If we continue to be disciplined, sharing, and caring, with the spirit of Gotong Royong, we can overcome this together”, as stated by Doni.

 

Agustini Rahayu
Head of Communication Agency
Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency