Photo Credits: ASEAN Briefing
Since the beginning of 2020 many countries have been under threat by new coronavirus officially named COVID-19 and there have been different responses to this threat. Indonesia, one of the countries with the largest number of citizens in the world and a country that is not far from continental China where the virus started, still has no reported cases of coronavirus. There has even be a research by Harvard researchers about how Indonesia is virus free when nations around it have confirmed cases, especially given the high average daily air-travel volumes from Wuhan to the country. As a response to this, the nation's health minister, Terawan Agus Putranto, pointed out that Indonesia is going to rely on prayers in a battle against coronavirus.
According to Patheos, Putranto said that the new strain of coronavirus could be combated using religion. “In accordance with [state ideology] Pancasila, our country believes in God. No matter the religion, as long as we uphold Pancasila, praying is of utmost importance. We work and pray. It’s an honorable thing,” Terawan said. “If there are other countries protesting [our approach], just let them; it is our nation’s right to rely on the Almighty,” he said. “Why should we be ashamed of relying on the Almighty? We should not be ashamed of praying.”
Indonesia may have been lucky not to have any confirmed cases of the virus so far or, as some experts say, there could be undetected cases there. One of the reasons why there are some presumptions that there are undetected cases in Indonesia is that only about one hundred specimens have been tested so far. As Patheos reports, Putranto said that this restricted testing of specimens was done for budget efficiency reason. Putranto was also insulted by claims that there are undetected cases in Indonesia claiming that it is all because of prayers.
All of this sounds pretty disturbing when in 2020 a country's top official is completely relying on prayers and the power of a divine being to prevent disease. There is no chance that prayer of any kind could help people stay healthy and that is why doctors and pharmacologists all over the world are trying to find the solution for the virus. There have been tens of thousands infections with COVID-19 globally so it should be taken seriously. Especially by those who are in charge and who make decisions; like minister of health of the country. with more than 250 million people.