ACT’s Five Steps in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Covid-19 became a pandemic disease that also affects Indonesia. ACT prepares a series of actions in response to the spread of Covid-19, such as opening the Corona Crisis Center, distribution of food aid to the community, and providing education about the disease.

In a press conference held on Monday (3/16), ACT explained the actions that have been and will be taken in dealing with the Covid-19 in Indonesia. (ACTNews / Muhajir Arif Rahmani)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – Until Tuesday (3/17), a total of 137 cases of the COVID-19 have been reported in Indonesia, 8 of whom recovered and 5 died. As an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and respond to the impact of the epidemic in Indonesia, Aksi Cepat Tanggap has conducted a series of mitigation actions and aid programs.

Ahyudin, Chairperson of ACT’s Board of Trustees stated that ACT would take part in handling this national disaster. "What we are seeing right now is a global and national disaster, COVID-19. With an optimistic spirit, we can face it together with the country. COVID-19 is a non-natural disaster, and ACT will act on the same principles and spirit like what we do when dealing with natural disasters although this disaster will certainly be more complex to handle. We urge people to continue to improve the spirit of mutual cooperation, our main value as a nation," he said.

On the same occasion, it was stated that ACT would be involved in providing education and taking concrete actions. Firstly, ACT will continue to mobilize hundreds of thousands of medical volunteers to provide education about the coronavirus to all elements of the nation to the fullest extent. ACT takes part in the preventive measures by providing health services and counseling in various regions. Secondly, ACT invites the public to continue to draw closer to God Almighty. Thirdly, ACT is preparing to set up a Corona Crisis Center to provide the latest information about COVID-19.

"We need to be vigilant, but don't panic. Know the symptoms, know how the virus spread, and know how to treat the symptoms. For some time, don't go to public places, take a vacation, and always pay attention to the etiquette of coughing and sneezing, take a shower after doing activities outside, and so on. In addition to opening the Corona Crisis Center, we will also regularly provide health services and educate people in various regions as part our program in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to encourage everyone to take individual preventive measures," said Dr. M. Riedha Bambang as ACT’s Corona Crisis Center Coordinator.

Fourthly, ACT, called the public to give more for charity as a way to protect from harm. Fifthly, to anticipate the economic crisis, especially on the grass root level, ACT plans to distribute food aid.

"ACT will prepare 1,000 tons of food packages and distribute them to various affected areas through our volunteers and our humanitarian fleet. This assistance is our endeavor for the betterment of the community. This aid packages come from the Waqf-based Food Barn, the Waqf-based Rice Barn, and the Waqf-based Water Barn that we have. The assistance mandated by the benefactors will be conveyed through our best programs. In addition to providing assistance, let us face this disaster together through prayer. Let us increase our devotion to God Almighty. On the other hand, this disaster is our moment to further increase our sadaqah (charity), a moment to increasingly care about the social environment," added ACT President Ibnu Khajar.

The COVID-19 pandemic also leads to the massive and significant deterioration of the world economy, including the Indonesian economy. Countless businesses are forced to lay off employees who are the backbone of their respective families. Reports from countries exposed to COVID-19 show that, in conditions of epidemics and emergencies, people with poor economic status are the most vulnerable. They must struggle with everyday problems while facing stigma and increasingly uncertain working conditions.

At present, the Corona virus that emerged from Wuhan City has spread to 158 countries with a total of 169,552 cases, and 6,516 were declared dead. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many irresponsible parties are taking advantage by hoarding masks, hand sanitizers, and staple food, making the prices soar. Many who need them the most can’t get any of these items, especially the lower economic community.

"Come on! Let’s help those who are currently living in economic limitations, helping the victims together through charity. In Islam, giving alms is one way to protect us from harms. Hopefully we can all be saved from the outbreak, and may our family be immensely blessed, through the movement to increase our charity. We invite generous donors to act together against corona through or you can give your donation to our 46 branches throughout Indonesia, to share with those most in need. Let us fight corona together, "concluded Ibnu. []