Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced that when the novel coronavirus vaccine reaches the country, he will be the first volunteer to receive it.

“I will be the first recipient of the vaccine,” Widodo said in a statement on the Indonesian presidential palace Istana Negara’s Youtube channel on Wednesday.

“After doctors and health workers, the entire public will be able to get the vaccine,” Widodo said, noting that he made this decision to strengthen the trust of Indonesian society in the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

Widodo stressed the vaccine will be free-of-cost.

On Dec. 6, Indonesia received 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.

So far, a total of 636,154 people have been infected nationwide with a death toll of 19,248.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China in December last year, COVID-19 has claimed over 1.64 million lives in 191 countries and regions.

More than 74 million cases have been reported worldwide and nearly 42 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

While the US, India and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of the number of cases, Europe is in the grip of a devastating second wave of infections.​​​​​​​

*Writing by Merve Berker

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