Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia After Inspecting the Construction of the COVID-19 Emergency Hospital, 1 April 2020, Galang Island, Batam, Riau Islands Province

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 2 April 2020
Category: Speech Transcript
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Reporter

Good afternoon Mr. President, I am Suhartono from Kompas, Jakarta. Yesterday in a press conference you ordered regional heads to avoid implementing policies that do not comply with Government Regulation. What are the measures you will take to synchronize the regional heads policies? Thank you, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Our policies should be based on the prevailing Laws and Regulations as well as the Constitution. That is our guideline. We already have Law on Health Quarantine, so our policies should be based on the Law. Do not issue a policy that violates the Government’s vision. I think the most important thing is the cooperation between the Central Government and the smallest unit of local governments, from the President to the village heads. This is very important. During mudik season (annual exodus ahead of Eid al Fitr) villages should establish places for self-isolation. The villages should also prepare social safety net, social protection, and social assistance for the people. Our efforts should be well-coordinated from the top leaders to the smallest unit leaders and the guidance is law.

Suhartono (Kompas)

Sir, if there are some regions that have already implemented unsynchronized policies, what would you do?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

As of today, I don’t find any regional government that makes unsynchronized policy and I hope it will remain unchanged. Yes, there are some social restrictions, there are traffic restrictions, but I think those are reasonable restrictions. The regional governments want to control their respective regions. However, it should not be in the form of major decisions, for example imposing quarantine in a large area or imposing lockdown.

What is Lockdown? We must clarify the term. Lockdown is a restriction under which the people cannot leave their houses and transportation stops, including buses, private vehicles, motorbikes, trains, planes, everything. All office activities also stop. We don’t choose that option. We still allow economic activities but all people must keep their safe distance. That is the most important thing. We have previously said that social distancing and physical distancing is the most important thing. We should have self-discipline to do that, to keep a safe distance, to wash your hands after every activity. Don’t touch your nose, mouth, or eyes so that the transmission will be completely prevented.

We have studied policy implementation of 202 countries, every country has its pluses and minuses and of course we adjust the policies to the conditions that exist in our country by taking into account geographical conditions, demographics, cultural characteristics, our self-discipline as well as our fiscal capacity.

Reporter

I am Agus Siswanto from CNN Indonesia. Mr. President, when will this observation and quarantine facility be ready? Thank you, Mr. President.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

It will be ready no later than next Monday. There was a 3-4 day delay because the transportation for materials were constrained by the weather.

Reporter

Sir, I am Andi from RRI. After inspecting the situation here, what do you think, Sir? Regarding the hospital, will it be used as an alternative if there is surge of patients in the regions or in Jakarta? Thank you, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

We should be ready for everything. We hope it will not happen but we should be ready. We have prepared the Wisma Atlet with capacity of 2,400 beds. Alhamdulillah, thank God, until now there are only 400 (rooms) have been used. Here, we have 360 ​​beds and 20 ICU, 30 non-ICU beds for isolation. We hope we never use this, but we should be ready. I have previously said that this place is built in anticipation of the upcoming situation. We hope we never use it.

After (the outbreak) ends, the facilities will serve other functions. The plan is that the place will be used for infectious diseases hospitals and research center. We hope we never use it.

We should also be aware that nowadays there is a mobility of Indonesian workers from Malaysia during mudik season. It should be controlled and monitored to ensure that everyone is clean and does not bring the coronavirus into the villages.

Reporter

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman

Reviewed by: Yuyu Mulyani

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