Maria Fatima Bona, Jakarta – The Indonesian government will start the second round of mass vaccination against coronavirus targeting priority groups other than medical workers on Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of traders at the country's biggest apparel market Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta will receive the vaccine as "pilot project", a Health Ministry official said on Monday.
"Around 55,000 Tanah Abang traders will be vaccinated in a span of six days and after that we will continue to vaccinate traders in all markets in Jakarta and eventually across Indonesia," Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, the ministry's acting director general for disease control and prevention, said in a video conference in Jakarta.
The second round of vaccination targets 38.5 million people, including 16.9 million workers in public sectors and 21.6 million elderly citizens, he said.
Workers at hospitality, transportation and tourism sectors are included in this program, as well as members of the media.
Maxi said the second round of vaccination will focus on provinces in Java and Bali, home to around 70 percent of the total number of coronavirus cases countrywide.
The announcement came after more than 1 million people of mainly medical workers were vaccinated across the sprawling archipelago.
Indonesia currently uses vaccine developed jointly by state-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma and China's Sinovac Biotech.
The country has recorded a total of 1.2 million cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began, with daily numbers starting to fall after the post-holiday surge.
It reported 6,765 cases on Sunday, the lowest daily count in more than a month. The total number of cases also has dropped by more than 10,000 to 159,000 cases in the last two weeks.
West Java has been experiencing a steady decline in newly cases since the start of the month in a stark contrast to the spiraling numbers last month when at its peak the daily count could top 4,500.
But the surge continues in Jakarta which has been averaging more than 3,200 cases in the last two weeks.
Coronavirus cases are trending down in other major hotspots like Central and East Java.
The virus has killed a total of 33,183 people mostly in seven provinces in Java and Bali. The country has been averaging 228 Covid deaths in the two-week period.
The daily coronavirus death toll has seen an upturn in the last four days after a consistent decline since the fourth week of January.