Indonesia takes public-private approach to Covid-19 fight

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has partnered with several tourism and transportation players to provide accommodation and transport for medical frontliners and members of the Covid-19 Task Force.

At a press conference on March 26, minister of tourism and creative economy Wishnutama Kusubandio said a collaboration with Accor is underway to utilise the latter’s portfolio of properties to accommodate 1,100 medical staff in Jakarta, as part of phase one of the programme.

Ibis Styles Jakarta Sunter is one of the hotels in the Indonesian capital offering its facilities to house medical personnel and task force members during the Covid-19 pandemic 

The ministry has also teamed up with BlueBird Group, Panorama Destination, White Horse Group and Antavaya Group to provide transport for medical workers and task force members in the Indonesian capital.

A budget has been set aside by the ministry to provide 615 rooms across five hotels and some 27 buses for the National Agency for Disaster Management in this initial stage.

Hotels selected for the programme are located near hospitals in Jakarta, namely, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital and Persahabatan Hospital, according to Wishnutama.

Meanwhile, buses will commute medical personnel and task force members between the hospitals and hotels.

Participating suppliers must follow the standard operating procedures established by the Ministry of Health. Among the requirements are that hotel staff and guests must go don protective gear, use disinfection gates, and have their temperature checked.

Wishnutama called on hotels and transportation companies in other areas to take part in the programme, provided they meet certain requirements, such as being in the vicinity of relevant hospitals and not having retrenched any of its staff.

Wishnutama added that the ministry would pay the hotels at prices below the market rate, and that the cooperation would help keep the hotel and transportation industries afloat during these trying times.

Adi Satria, vice president of sales, marketing and distributions Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Accor Hotels, said that the participating hotels – such as Novotel Cikini, Mercure Cikini, Ibis Styles Jakarta Sunter, and Ibis Senen – will not be accepting any regular guests during this period.

“All our teams who serve the (special) guests will also stay in-house to safeguard all parties,” he added.

WEHA Transportasi Indonesia, one of the transport companies supporting the government’s initiative, is providing four buses in the initial stage.

Its director of sales and marketing, Tiodora Bonardi, said: “On our part, we are ready to provide any number of vehicles they need.”

Tiodora added that the ministry would take care of drivers’ accommodation and meals, and provide all health and safety equipment needed during the programme.

“They will also train our drivers on the procedures and protocols to handle the guests, and how to keep themselves and the vehicles clean, healthy and ready at all times,” she added.

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