Assuming the presidency in the upcoming G20 summit, Indonesia has begun the Health Working Group (HWG) meeting series that took place on 28-30 March 2022 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Indonesia’s G20 presidency seeks to harmonize safe and healthy travel procedures worldwide, especially the recognition of COVID-19 vaccine certificates, in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged all countries across the globe. The HWG meeting was aimed to foster a dialogue in the health sector between participating countries and synchronized global health protocols.
The meeting was attended by 70 foreign delegates and 50 local delegates. Delegates who participated in person were Australia, Argentina, the United Kingdom, India, etc., and the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, those who attended virtually included Canada, France, etc., and international organizations such as the World Bank.
Countries in Asia Pacific such as Singapore ( https://www.caas.gov.sg/who-we-are/newsroom/Detail/singapore-reopens-borders-to-all-fully-vaccinated-travellers ), aims to open to fully vaccinated travelers and transition to a new Vaccination Travel Framework by April 2022. Other countries ( https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-10/singapore-looks-to-next-phase-of-opening-to-vaccinated-travelers )in the region reopening borders to vaccinated travelers include Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.
“Therefore, we need to have synchronized health protocols globally. This will enable safer international travels and accelerate the social and economic recovery for good,” said Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the Minister of Health of Indonesia.
The HWG meeting has unveiled the initiation to standardize the digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates through a universal verifier made according to the WHO standards. The system is web-based that can be used on all devices and each country does not need to change the system or the QR codes that are currently used.
Each country is given the flexibility to apply necessary health protocols from their own respective countries. However, the procedures are clear and universal thus strengthening the global health architecture and easing traveling across countries.
The synchronization of health protocols is needed to support the interconnectivity of health information. This process is expected to start from the G20 member countries and expanding to other countries globally.
The second HWG meeting will be held in Lombok in June, discussing about global health fund in case of a future pandemic. The last of the HWG series will discuss the global medical research and will be held in Bali in November.
More information can be accessed at the Indonesia’s Ministry of Health website https://www.kemkes.go.id/.
Source:The Indonesian Ministry of Health