A recent recorded conversation between President Jokowi and a number of officials during their trip to East Kalimantan about them getting third shot with booster covid-19 vaccine raises questions on why these officials could get it first while many frontliners, especially the health workers, who are directly facing the virus threat and supposed to get one, have not got one.
Is it the official policy for this already clear? Do the front-liners who risk their life on a daily basis must be prioritized above everyone else? With simple common sense can we deduce that they have taken vaccines that supposed to be given to those who needed most? If this is the state policy, or at least Jokowi’s own instruction, then isn’t getting it first for themselves is a betrayal to sense of justice?
Furthermore, if these vaccines were supposed to be allocated for the frontliners as it should have been then, is taking it first for themselves an act of stealing? Or worse, a corruption of state assets?
The worst part of it was that they seemed to joke out of it as if there was nothing wrong with it, and rather than showing his displeasure for this humiliating act, President Joko Widodo seemed to approve it, adding that he himself was waiting for Pfizer, known as the best vaccine available.
“We all have been vaccinated with the booster vaccine. How about you Mr. President? Have you got one?” one official was heard from the recording asking Jokowi during their trip to East Kalimantan recently. Jokowi smiled and said, “Ah, I better wait for Pfizer.”
Various media and civil society group have reported that around 460 medical workers have died of Covid-19 in the past two months as the second wave engulfs the country. July saw the highest number of monthly deaths among frontliners with 373 deaths, more than two times the January figure when the country was at the peak of its first surge of cases.
Since the pandemic started last year, at least 1,636 health workers – mostly doctors and nurses – have lost their lives to the virus.
This recorded conversation shows the mentality of Indonesian leaders, many people have complained, with other adding it is just a glimpse or a tip of the iceberg of how the country’s officials usually conduct the state business and wondering if there is any hope, however small it is, that Indonesia can start to gradually solve our so multi-facet problems?