Jakarta – Deputy National Police chief Comr. Gen. Gatot Eddy Pramono has been appointed a deputy head of the national economic and COVID-19 recovery committee, the latest in a number of military and police generals given big roles in the government's pandemic response.
Gatot said the police had a responsibility to help break the chain of coronavirus transmission by enforcing the law and health protocols, alongside the Indonesian Military (TNI).
"This is [a collaborative effort] between the National Police and the TNI," he said in a written statement issued on Wednesday as quoted by tempo.co.
He added that he was confident the country would soon recover from the health and economic crises.
Earlier this week, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appointed Army chief of staff Gen. Andika Perkasa as one of the committee's deputy heads.
State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir, who chairs the national economic and COVID-19 recovery committee, said the involvement of the National Police and TNI in the committee was not a strategy to intimidate the public.
"Don't misinterpret the involvement of the National Police and TNI as [an attempt] to scare the public," Erick said.
Police and military support, he added, was crucial to ensuring nationwide compliance with health protocols, given that the two departments had active personnel across the archipelago.
President Jokowi formed the COVID-19 recovery committee last month based on Presidential Regulation No. 82/2020.
The committee aims to streamline bureaucratic procedures related to the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn resulting from the health crisis. (rfa)