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Webinar: Holland alumni initiatives: Helping Indonesia Fight the Outbreak of the coronavirus from in Public Health, Entrepreneurship, and Disaster Risk Management Perspectives.

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On Sunday, 19 April 2020, Holland alumni network Indonesia, in collaboration with, Generasi Cerdas iklim (climate smart generation) foundation organized a Webinar session (via Zoom cloud meeting) entitled ‘Holland alumni initiatives: Helping Indonesia Fight the Outbreak of the coronavirus from in Public Health, Entrepreneurship, and Disaster Risk Management Perspectives. 

The program is part of series of online talk ‘SAFETY: Small action for life and humanity and Supporting Charity program'. This program is also an expression of the dedication of the Holland alumni network Indonesia and Generasi Cerdas Iklim Foundation to help the Government and Indonesian communities deal with the outbreak of the Coronavirus or COVID-19.

Picture 1. the webinar session on the screen 

Three Holland alumni from different universities and different fields of study shared on their experience and strategies to deal with the coronavirus in the country from their own expertise. Amalia Hasnida (MSc in Public Health VU Amsterdam, PhD candidate Erasmus of School of Health policy and management Erasmus Rotterdam), Khrisna Aria Putra (MSc in Entrepreneurship University van Amsterdam, Co-Founder Travelbuddy Indonesia), and Ikrom Mustofa (Wageningen Alumni in climate and disaster management, founder of Generasi Cerdas Iklim Foundation). All shared very useful information on the said topic in front of more than 70 participants.

Khrisna highlighted that the Covid-19 has played a significant impact not only on the global economy but also Indonesia's economy, especially in the start-up/entrepreneurship sectors. 'We can not deny this situation ‘many business sectors have suffered unprecedented drops in their income, but we must go through this situation and survive’ he said. He, furthermore, mentioned three important measures that business or start-up need to do in order to survive during this pandemic: act quickly: taking action and control over the whole business project as soon as possible, estimate cash flow with the scenario for 12-18 months and up to 36 months, and other (possible) manner: Cost- Cutting: in the Manpower, marketing, other costs. 

On the other side, Ikrom Mustofa, who speak from the perspective of disaster risk management, explained the influence of climate weather in the spread of Covid-19. He emphasized his opinion with the research which is conducted by Arajuo and Naimi (2020), "While models of epidemic spread utilize human demography and mobility as predictors, climate can also help constrain the virus". Moreover, Ikrom also says : It is also crucial for us to remain alert whatever the circumstances "Keep staying at home will greatly reduce the exposure of the virus, as well as efforts to support other people who still have to work outside the home’.

Picture 2. A presentation by Amalia Hasnida on panic buying medicines

The last speaker in this session was Amalia Hasnida. She elaborated a crucial matter regarding panic buying medicines within the society during the Covid-19 crisis. She started her presentation with a brief story how citizens in major cities in Indonesia including Jakarta flock to the pharmacy and even convenience store to stock up medicines and another medical supplies shortly after the president announced its first coronavirus case in Indonesia. She explained: a sudden rush to purchase medicine or medical supply contributes to product shortage. Despite the rush, there is no concrete clinical evidence that the existing medicines in the market are proven 100% effective for Covid-19 prevention or treatment. Meanwhile, many patients with chronic disease require those drugs for therapies. 

Therefore, it is not necessary for public to panic buying those medicines, especially on internet. She also provided her current research findings about market risk factors and medicine quality shows that this pandemic creates a perfect market opportunity for falsifiers selling fake products since there is a rising demand but short in supply. Internet is particularly a risky channel to buy medicine since it is less regulated that other channels. Panic buying medicines, especially the fake ones, will easily expose public to products with no efficacy or safety, thus compromising their health. Also, it is a money and time wasting activity since products in short supply tend to be sold with more expensive prices. 

Furthermore, instead of panic buying medicines, she advised the participants to do other prevention activities, and always do other prevention activities:  eat healthy, sleep well, exercise enough, & think positively. But when participants need to buy medicines, she leveraged the importance of buying it in trusted sources such as pharmacies and to consult with health providers as necessary.

Overall, most of speakers agree that in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, they should obey the government’s stay-at-home and work-from-home policies.

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