Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on the Handling of COVID-19 in East Java Thursday, 25 June 2020 at Grahadi State Building, Surabaya, East Java Province
Date 25 Juni 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
First of all, allow me to extend my highest gratitude and appreciation to the governors, deputy governors, regents and mayors, the Task Force, hospitals, doctors, nurses, prominent figures, volunteers, and personnel of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Polri) who have worked tirelessly and showed dedication to curb the spread of COVID-19 in East Java Province.
First and foremost, let me to remind us to share a similar view that we are currently facing health and economic crisis. There must be no one among us who think this situation is normal. It is extremely dangerous. This situation unfolds not only in Indonesia but in 215 countries as well. Once again, I hope we share a similar view that we are now facing a health crisis which is compounded by an economic crisis.
We continue to encourage the public to share one view that the problem of COVID-19 is not solved yet. No one should not feel reassured so they do not wear a face mask when outside, they do not wash hands, they do not avoid unnecessary crowd. We must always remind this.
Before talking about the health issue, I’d like to talk about an economic issue. I have learned that global economic crisis is indeed happening. All countries are experiencing it.
The IMF has projected that United States will see a negative growth about 8 percent of their national economy in 2020; Japan will see a negative growth of 5.8 percent; the United Kingdom will see a negative growth of 10.2 percent; France will see a negative growth of 12.5 percent; Italy will see a negative growth of 12.8 percent; Spain will see a negative growth of 12.8 percent; Germany will see a negative growth of 7.5 percent. It means the demand will be disrupted. Once the demand is disrupted, supply will be disrupted as well. Disruption in supply will contribute to the production. Thus, demand, supply, and production chain will be disrupted.
We must bear it in mind that we are now striving to mitigate health sector and economic sector at the same time due to COVID-19. One and a half months ago, I had a phone call with Managing Director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva, telling me the world is currently facing a global economic crisis more severe than the 1930 Great Depression.
To that end, in managing the crisis we must take equal measures for all. We cannot only solve the economic issue but ignore the health issue. In fact, we also cannot fully concentrate on health issue and abandon the economic issue. I always remind this matter to governors, regents, and mayors. Equal measures are necessary to manage all problems at the same time. It is really difficult.
Now let’s talk about the health issue, namely COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor and Head of COVID-19 Task Force have reported that 183 people in East Java have tested positive for the virus. Is it yesterday’s data? It is the highest figure of positive cases in Indonesia. Please be careful. Nevertheless, recovery rate is recorded at 31 percent. It is quite good news. Thus, I order control of the mitigation in an integrated manner for the next two weeks. All units, including the Task Force be it at provincial, city/regency levels, the hospitals, and villages, must join hands in managing the crisis so we can lower the number of positive cases.
Good cooperation and synergy in the managements are also crucial. I notice that Surabaya metropolitan area is a region with the highest number of positive cases. We must control the spread of this agglomeration region first. The cities of Surabaya, Gresik, Sidoarjo and other cities/regencies must be integrated in one management since mobility of the people will not only affect the number of positive cases in Surabaya alone, but in other regions as well. I call for a strong coordination among the managements.
Today, I ordered Commander of Joint Defense Area Command 2 to fully support synergy between emergency hospitals and referral hospitals. Severe, moderate, and light cases must be sorted and determined and which cases are to be treated at which hospitals so that not all patients are handled at one place. This is also to avoid concentration of patients at one hospital.
Second, massive testing, aggressive tracing, strict isolation and treatment have been well-implemented. It must be carry on and conducted at a larger scale.
Third, once the infection rate is under control and when we decide to begin the new normal era, I want the preconditions to be met first. We must not begin the new normal without good preconditions. We must find the right timing. After meeting preconditions, we must determine the timing, regencies and cities. We must also determine priority sectors that can be reopened. Do not reopen all sectors at the same time. We must go through these stages, to balance the measures. Sectors which have low risk must be prioritized, while sectors with moderate and high risks will be followed.
Fourth, I’d like to appeal to prominent figures, religious figures, and public figures to disseminate the health protocols including the importance of wearing a face mask, keeping a safe distance, and washing hands over and over again. The Task Force has informed me that 70 percent of the public still do not wear a face mask. It is such a high figure. Therefore, I have also ordered the National Task Force and Minister of Health to distribute masks as much as possible to Surabaya and East Java.
Fifth, I call on governors, regents, and mayors to always refer to scientific data and recommendation in formulating policies. We must not formulate a policy without considering data and hearing inputs and recommendations from professionals. Do ask for inputs from epidemiologists. Ask for advice from university experts.
Lastly, I want you to prepare Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C so we will be ready to face an unexpected situation. We must remain vigilant because based on information I received this morning, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has hit 10 million cases. We surely do not want to record a high number of positive cases. Thus, we must remain vigilant for an unexpected situation. We must calculate all factors and prepare anticipative measures including preparing emergency hospitals, human resources, hospital beds, isolation wards both at emergency hospitals or referral hospitals.
And that concludes my statement in this auspicious occasion. I thank you for your hard work. I will continue to monitor, follow, and observe the data of East Java Province. It is our hope there will be a significant drop in cases, reproduction number (R0) and Rt in the next two weeks so we can enter the new normal era and the public can do their activities as usual.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Translated by: Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas