Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at a Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on The President’s Directives to COVID-19 Mitigation and National Economic Recovery Committee, Monday, 27 July 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 27 Juli 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us all,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This morning, I received information that the number of COVID-19 positive cases worldwide has reached 15.8 million with a fatality rate of 640 thousand. In the United States alone, the number of cases has reached 4.2 million, in Brazil 2.3 million, in India 1.4 million. Therefore, we must remain vigilant. We should not lose spirit in tackling the crises. Therefore, I want to emphasize a number of things that deserve attention of the Committee.
First, the establishment of Committee aims to integrate health and economic policies and to make balanced and extensive responses. Health care is our priority and we should not slow down our efforts. We must continue to intensify our efforts to tackle the pandemic until the vaccine is available and can be used effectively. So, I need to emphasize that there is no such thing as dissolution of COVID-19 Task Force both at the Central and regional levels. Everyone must continue to work hard. The Committee, once again, will integrate economic and health policies.
Second, regarding health sector. I remind you to pay closer attention and give priority regarding the COVID-19 handling to eight provinces, namely DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan and Papua given that those eight provinces account for 74 percent of positive cases in the country. I have made it clear that mortality rate must be made as low as possible, recovery rate must be increased as high as possible, and also growth rate of new positive cases must be controlled as quickly as possible. The 3T (testing, tracing, and treatment) methods must be carried out massively and more aggressively. If there is a shortage of test equipment, PCR machines, lab capacity, PPE, and also hospital equipment on the ground, it must be immediately resolved. Effective communication between hospitals and the community, the regions must be carried out as effectively as possible.
Third, regarding the absorption of COVID-19 treatment stimulus. The absorption is still not optimum and lacks speed. This is crucial. The latest data I received on 22 July showed that the realization only reached Rp136 trillion of the total stimulus for the COVID-19 handling, which amounted to Rp695 trillion, or accounting for 19 percent. I repeat, only 19 percent. Social protection accounts for 38 percent, MSME at 25 percent, including funds in the Association of State-Owned Banks (Himbara) of Rp30 trillion, health sector only at 7 percent, as well as support for the sectoral and local governments at 6.5 percent, business incentives at 13 percent. This must be immediately resolved by the Committee by taking breakthrough steps and working faster so the issues I mentioned earlier can be resolved.
Issues relating to regulation and administrative process must be immediately resolved by revising the regulation and cutting the red tape, and there is no such thing as sectoral ego, regional ego. I think it is very important that this issue be resolved immediately so we are present in tackling the crisis. I want every post, be it at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), at the Central governments, at the regional governments or at the Committee to make optimum efforts in tackling the crisis.
That concludes my remarks.
I thank you.
Translated by Muhardi
Reviewed by M. Ersan Pamungkas