The Disaster Response Unit (DERU) Team of the Directorate of Community Service to the UGM Community provided COVID-19 counseling to some villages in the DIY and surrounding areas. Also, UGM prepared dozens of students to be deployed in villages to provide advice and assistance in handling COVID-19.
"We once heard a noise from the public. Many villages began lockdowns. Lockdown is a form of community participation, so we know that they have consciousness there. However, they may still lack knowledge," said the Director of Community Service at the UGM Community, Prof. Ir. Irfan Dwidya Prijambada, M. Eng., Ph.D., on Monday (13/4).
Irfan explained, the experience of dealing with several natural disasters previously showed that the people of Yogyakarta are resilient. He gave an example, after the earthquake in 2006, Yogyakarta could rise quickly because the community had the initiative to be involved in handling disasters jointly.
"Even during the Merapi disaster, people were very active in helping one another. We think that we should make this community active," he added.
One of the counseling activities, he explained, was carried out by the DPKM Team in Sumberharjo Prambanan Village. In the counseling, information related to the spread of COVID-19 including the symptoms that need to be aware of, as well as preventive measures that need to be taken by every family, ranging from wearing masks when outside activities to routine hand washing.
This activity received a good reception from the local community. Some people, he explained, so far, have had a wrong understanding related to COVID-19 due to the intake of information from social media without checking the source of information. Therefore, many prevention measures taken by the community are also considered inappropriate.
"For example, if someone saw on YouTube, there were police spraying the streets, then they sprayed the streets. Unlike the dengue fever in which we can solve it by fogging," said Irfan.
With the broader dissemination of the right information regarding COVID-19, the community, according to him, will be able to sort out the correct information and distorted information, and can take the right steps without panicking. In the last few days, several villages even invited teams from UGM to provide counseling and assistance in handling COvid-19 in their communities.
"This is something good that the community is trying to learn and find information," he said.
UGM has also prepared 60 students, 28 of them FKKMK students, to be involved in counseling activities. For these activities, UGM has coordinated with various parties. One of the parties is the local government, so that the community kindly welcomes the students.
"They will be involved in guarding the handling of COVID-19 in the villages. We hope that they can perceive and note correct information to homes," he concluded.
Translator: Natasa A