Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia (Directives for the Governors) At the Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on COVID-19 Pandemic Handling and National Economic Recovery Tuesday, 1 September 2020 At the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province
Date 1 September 2020
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue,
Distinguished Cabinet Ministers,
Distinguished Governors from 34 provinces virtually present this morning.
In today’s Cabinet Meeting, I invite the Governors to synchronize the measures taken by the Central Government, Ministers, Governors, as well as Regents and Mayors, even village heads, and ensure that the measures are swift and effective.
First, I remind the Governors to look at the data and the numbers on the development of COVID-19 cases in the respective regions. Be aware that there is an increasing trend of positive cases in several countries, both in European countries and in the Asian region. Therefore, we must be careful. In our country, although there has been an increase in positive cases in some regions, situation in Indonesia is still relatively under control comparing to other countries. We must maintain the COVID-19 control and management.
The data that I received on 31 August shows that the number of positive cases in our country is 175,000 (cases) out of the 2.23 million tests. And alhamdulillah, thank God, the case recovery rate has increased from 15 percent in April to 72.1 percent in August. That is higher than the global average of 69 percent. The number of active cases has also decreased from 77 percent in April to 23.69 (percent) in August. This is better than the global average of 27 percent. However, be aware that fatality rate in Indonesia, even though it has decreased from 7.83 (percent) in April to 4.2 (percent) this month, is still higher than the global fatality rate of 3.36 percent.
Once again, we must be very vigilant so that we do not lose control of handling the spread of COVID-19. Here it is… our active cases, then our fatality rate. The active cases has decreased from 77 percent in April to 23.7 percent, then the death rate (has decreased) from 7.8 (percent) in April to 4.2 percent in August. As of yesterday, 31 August, the number of active cases was still 41,420 (cases) or 23.7 percent. The addition of positive cases per day, on yesterday, was 2,743 (cases). And this is what we should be grateful for, that the number of recovered cases is 72.1 percent or 125,959 (cases) and the number of fatality cases is 7,417 (cases) or 4.2 percent.
If we look at the existing development, here are the positive cases at the national level. For the fatality rate, the number is high in April, then it continuously decreased and in August the rate is 4.27 percent. We must continue to make an effort to lower the daily fatality rate. For recovery rate, if we look at here, the number is very low in March, but in August our recovery is 72.17 percent. This is what we should be grateful for. Our positivity rate, as of 31 August, has been flattened. Nevertheless, we must continue to make it better.
And I would like to talk about the development of COVID-19 in Provinces in Indonesia, as of yesterday, 31 August. Look at the number of cases, the number of recovery cases, and the number of fatality cases. We have all the daily numbers, all the daily data. So be careful, the Governors whose region has high numbers must work really hard, hand in hand with the Task Force so that the numbers can be lower. When there are problems and you need help from the Central Government, please tell the Committee and the Task Force (of COVID-19 Handling and National Recovery).
Second, I would like to explain our efforts in accelerating vaccine testing and procurement. For the short term, we are competing with other countries to get access to vaccine as quickly as possible. And alhamdulillah, thank God, we have secured a commitment of 20-30 million doses of vaccine at the end of 2020. Until the end of 2021, we have also secured a commitment of approximately 290 million doses of vaccine. I order the Governors to continuously maintain COVID-19 handling. We must strengthen our resilience and our endurance so that we really get vaccine for all of our people. At the same time we are also developing a vaccine with an Indonesian strain which we call the Red and White Vaccine, developed by our national consortium involving the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, our Universities and our research institutions. Currently, the Red and White Vaccine is in the manufacturing stage of the vaccine seed, and the progress has reached approximately 30-40 percent. The vaccine is planned to be clinically tested early next year. Insyaa Allah, God willing, it will be ready for production in mid-2021.
Third, before the vaccination can be effectively implemented on a massive scale, I order the Governors, once again, to maintain the balance according to the data they have, because if we cannot quickly flatten the COVID-19 curve or significantly reduce the fatality rate and increase the recovery rate, the uncertain situation will continue. We must be aware that it will make the people feel insecure. We must focus on this matter. We must prevent the insecurity of the people and the stagnation of business sector, which will hamper our country’s economic recovery.
Nevertheless, we must be grateful for several indicators that we saw in the last few days. For example, the Purchasing Managers’ Index has returned to the 50, this is already a normal position. The tax rate also started to rise, even though it is not at a normal position yet. We hope we can see the increase in the real sector, household consumption, domestic consumption, industry and export.
To that end, I remind the Governors to continuously inform the public on the importance of maintaining safe distance, washing hands, and avoiding crowds. It must be repeated over and over again, especially with regard to wearing face masks. The key before vaccination is wearing face mask, this is the most important thing. Surely it would be even better if the supervision is really implemented, and penalty for non-compliant is imposed so that self-discipline in following health protocols will be maintained by the people. The distribution of face masks and the campaign for wearing face masks must be carried out on a massive scale to the villages and hamlets. Do involve community leaders and the women’s organization.
Fourth, regarding the economic recovery, we are aware that in the first quarter of 2020 we still grow by 2.97 percent while other countries recorded minus growth. However, in the second quarter, our growth was minus 5.3 percent. We have one month left in the third quarter, September. We still have an opportunity this September. If we still have minus growth, it means that we are going into an (economic) recession. Therefore, I order all of you to speed up provincial budget spending and instruct Regents/Mayors to ensure that the budget spending of regencies and cities, especially on goods expenditures, capital expenditures, and social assistance expenditures, is significantly accelerated so that it can increase public consumption and restore economy in the area.
The data shows that, as of 27 August 2020, the average national expenditure for the provincial budget was still at 44.74 percent, while the average expenditure for district and city budget was 48.8 percent. Be careful about this. I think the numbers are clear and we can see how much expenditure has been spent on goods and services, capital expenditure, and social assistance. We can see the percentage of goods and services expenditure in Aceh, North Sumatra, and Bengkulu. West Sumatra’s expenditure is already above 50 percent, it is 52 percent. DKI Jakarta has 78 percent of goods and services expenditure. It is already high, while the capital expenditure is 92 percent. It is very important to focus on the numbers, especially for the provinces with the low spending rate, be it 15 (percent), 10 (percent), even zero in social assistance spending. I monitor the realization of the Regional Budget spending every day. Data from all provinces, regencies/cities are clear. Please pay close attention to the numbers so that the spending of goods and services, capital expenditures, and social assistance will be realized immediately.
I would like to explain about the economic growth in each province. The province with the highest economic growth is Papua, with 4.52 percent growth and West Papua with 0.53 percent growth. Papua and West Papua are the only Provinces that record positive growth. Central Sulawesi, although in a good position, has 0.06 percent minus growth. There are three provinces with the sharpest contraction displayed on the screen, namely Bali, with minus 10.98 percent. It is because tourists are indeed very important factor for the economy in Bali, so it is obvious that economic growth in Bali has contracted very sharp. The next is Jakarta with minus 8.22 percent; and Yogyakarta with minus 6.74 percent. Growth in other provinces is on par with the national average.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think that concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion. Once again, I hope that the Governors will focus on the budget spending and remind Regents and Mayors on spending on goods and services, capital expenditures, and social assistance expenditure. It is very important for regional economic growth, as well as for maintaining the purchasing power and household consumption of the people.
I think that concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion.
I thank you.
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Translated by Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by Yuyu Mulyani