COVID-19: ICRC expands material support to prisons in West Java and Banten
Jakarta (ICRC) – Ramping up its response to COVID-19, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in coordination with the Directorate General of Prisons of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, finished today the distribution of hygiene and protection material in 45 places of detention in West Java and Banten provinces, military detention centres in Jakarta, West and East Java, and military hospital in Jakarta and West Java. The distribution, carried out to support the Indonesian authorities in controlling the spread of COVID-19, took place from 18 to 22 May.
The places of detention included 12 rumah tahanan (rutan) and lembaga pemasyarakatan (lapas) located in Banten province, 33 rutan and lapas in West Java province, four military detention centres in Jakarta, West and East Java and three military hospitals in Jakarta. The hygiene kits – consisting of soap bars, water containers, hand sanitizers, disinfectant, gloves and masks, sprayers, goggles, personal protective equipment, thermometers and health promotion posters – have been customized to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.
"It’s much more difficult to implement preventive measures like social or physical distancing and implementing hygiene protocol in prisons. At the ICRC, we are working closely with prison authorities to control the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention, which are particularly vulnerable to an outbreak. It’s an extraordinary situation and our response has suitably been adapted to meet the ever-evolving needs, said Alexandre Faite, the head of the ICRC regional delegation to Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
Given that prisoners’ health is also a public health issue, we can’t segregate the two – they affect each other and hence both have to be addressed equally well.
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICRC previously provided personal protection equipments to detentions at Jakarta DK in late April. Following the agreement from Directorate General of Prisons, the ICRC decided to expand its scope to include the prisons in Banten and West Java provinces in May and may go beyond that if necessary, Faite said.
The ICRC delegation in Indonesia is adapting its programmes to support the national authorities in their efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and extends technical and material support for management of the dead, ambulance services and restoring family links services, in close cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross. Moreover, the ICRC has engaged in outreaching online to religious circles on accurate and credible health and hygiene information as well as the management of dead body.