Decline in COVID-19 Cases as Momentum to Rise, President Jokowi Says

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 26 Oktober 2021
Category: News
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President Joko Widodo delivers remarks at the 38th ASEAN Summit, from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province, Tuesday (26/10) (Photo: BPMI/Lukas)

The decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the ASEAN region must be used as a momentum to rise together, Presiden Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stated.

For this reason, the President invited ASEAN leaders to take a number of acceleration and strengthening measures in the health sector.

First, he emphasized the importance of accelerating vaccination in the region. Currently, the full vaccination rate in the ASEAN region is still ten percent below the global average.

“ASEAN must continue to provide vaccines for its people, to continue to fight against discrimination and politicization of vaccines, and to speak up about the importance of equal access to vaccines for all,” said President Jokowi when delivering a speech at the virtual ASEAN Summit from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province, Tuesday (26/10).

Second, President Jokowi stressed the importance of strengthening the regional health architecture in tackling the pandemic in the future. Synergy between public health emergency policies among ASEAN countries related to detection, mitigation, and cross-border policies, must be carried out immediately, he added.

The COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund must be transformed into a robust regional health fund. Meanwhile, the ASEAN Emergency Health Fund is used to fund access to medical devices, diagnostics, medicines, and vaccines in times of emergency and the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies needs to continue to be strengthened.

“At the same time, the ASEAN region is encouraged to become a regional hub for the production of medical devices, diagnostics, medicines and vaccines in the region. This is to ensure the supply of ASEAN countries’ needs in the event of a public health emergency,” he said.

Success in the health sector will open the door to success in the economy. ADB Outlook 2021 estimates ASEAN economic growth in 2022 at five percent.

“We have to prove that we can achieve more by disciplined cooperation and taking steps together,” he said.

Moreover, President Jokowi underscored the importance of reactivation of travel industry, including tourism sector which is safe from COVID-19 and trusted by the global community.

“The implementation of travel corridors based on the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework (ATCAF) needs to be implemented in an orderly manner,” he said.

In addition, adaptation to a digital economy must be accelerated in all countries considering the limitations of human mobility. As the region with the fastest internet growth in the world, ASEAN’s digital economy has enormous potential of digital economy.

“During the pandemic, the digital economy reached US$100 billion in 2020. This is a stepping stone for economic progress in our region and ASEAN’s contribution to global economic recovery,” he said. (BPMI / UN) (EST / MMB)

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