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 travel procedures worldwide, especially the recognition of COVID-19 vaccine certificates, in the wake of the devastating pandemic that ravaged countries across the globe. The HWG meeting was aimed to foster a dialogue in the health sector between participating countries and synchronize 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). Those who attended virtually included Canada, France, etc., and international organizations such as the World Bank.
“We need to have synchronized health protocols globally for safer international travels and accelerate the social and economic recovery for good,” said Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia’s Minister of Health.
Health protocol restrictions differ for every country with some stricter than others. For instance, the United States in the Americas region require travelers to provide vaccination passport and a swab test, while some Latin American countries still require a quarantine and others only need to show their vaccination passports.
With different health protocol requirements, 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 does not need any change to the system or the QR codes used.
Each country is given the flexibility to apply necessary health protocols for their countries with clear and universal procedures 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 expand to other countries.
The second HWG meeting in Lombok in June, will discuss about global health fund in case of a future pandemic. The last of the HWG series in Bali in November, will discuss about the global medical research.
More information can be accessed at the Indonesia’s Ministry of Health website https://www.kemkes.go.id/.