Head of bishops' Commission for Youth tests positive, Indonesia begins trials of homegrown vaccine
Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi of Ketapang (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference’s Documentation and Information Desk)
The chairman of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Youth, has tested positive for Covid-19, a Church official said on Feb. 11.
Bishop Pius Riana Prapbi of Ketapang tested positive on Feb. 10, according to Father Simon Anjar Yogatomo, the Ketapang diocesan secretary.
He said the 55-year-old prelate was now self-isolating at a convent belonging to the Congregation of Augustinian Sisters in Ketapang.
“All pastoral activities and meetings, except online ones, are canceled until he recovers. Activities related to the diocese are being handled by the diocese’s vicar-general,” he said.
Bishop Pius told UCA News that his symptoms were so far mild and that his condition was being constantly monitored.
News of his infection came a day after the government announced the start of human trials for a homegrown Covid-19 vaccine called Merah Putih (Red White), named after the colors of the Indonesian national flag.
The vaccine is being developed by the state-run Airlangga University in Surabaya and Biotis Pharmaceutical Indonesia.
Before trials could start the vaccine had to be granted halal certification from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the country’s top Islamic body, through a fatwa.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin had previously said that since Indonesia was a predominantly Muslim country a Covid-19 vaccine must obtain halal certification from such an authorized institution before being given to the public.
As of Feb. 10, the country had recorded 4,667,554 Covid cases and 144,858 deaths.
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