The Jakarta Post
As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb in Indonesia and large-scale social restrictions remain in place across the country, it is easy to lose sight of the positive developments in the struggle against the outbreak.
The Jakarta Post has compiled some good news to provide a glimpse of optimism in the bleak situation:
Citizens produce masks to help protect their neighbors
Women farmers in Menang Raya village, South Sumatra, are weaving plant fibers to produce masks to help protect villagers from COVID-19. Prior to the outbreak, the farmers used the sewing machines to craft decorative objects from purun (Chinese water chestnuts), which are commonly found in peatland.
Dwi Rahayu Februarti, a resident of Yogyakarta, designed a transparent mask to help deaf people communicate while protecting themselves.
Online health fundraising platform WeCare is campaigning to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel across the country to remedy the lack of equipment. The campaign, under the hashtag #APDuntukNegeri (#PPEfortheCountry), had raised Rp 8.1 billion (US$512,904) as of Thursday.
Volunteers provide emotional support to those in isolation
Tens of thousands of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing isolation – both in hospitals and in their own homes – and may be cut off from their families.
In Jakarta, volunteer group Jakarta Maju Bersama has invited people to become social companions for COVID-19 patients and those suspected of having the disease in the capital city, joining an initiative to ensure that those confined to isolation receive the emotional support they need.
Companies and communities work together to provide food for medical workers
Multi-service app Grab has collaborated with dozens of its restaurant partners to provide 1,000 food packages to medical workers in Bandung and Cimahi, West Java, in an initiative to help frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.
Other restaurants and communities, such as United States-based restaurant chain Pizza Hut and Ngikan restaurants have also donated food packages to medical workers.
Air quality in Jakarta improves during COVID-19 pandemic
The Jakarta Environment Agency has reported that the air quality has improved since the city ordered physical distancing, urged offices to suspend operations and limited public transportation on March 23 to combat the spread of COVID-19.
According to the agency’s data, the concentration of PM2.5 particulate matter, inhalable pollutant particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, was below 40 micrograms per cubic meter on March 26, down from more than 60 mcg/cbm on March 19.