Stay Optimistic but Vigilant, President Jokowi Tells Public as COVID-19 Cases Decline
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on the public to remain optimistic yet extra vigilant in response to declining trend in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.
“Thank God, we have seen a declining trend in COVID-19 cases. We are very optimistic but remain vigilant. Indonesia as the world’s fourth most populous country is not among 10 most-affected countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases,” the President said at the 2022 UOB Economic Outlook that adopted the theme “Empowering the Indonesian Economy for Stronger Recovery”, Wednesday (15/9).
According to the President, the number of COVID-19 daily cases has gradually declined from 56,000 cases in its peak on 15 July 2021 to only 2,577 cases on 13 September 2021.
“The percentage of our daily cases is 13.6 cases per one million [population], lower than that of other ASEAN countries,” he said.
In addition, the President added, the national bed occupancy rate (BOR) at hospitals has also declined to 13.8 percent, while BOR at Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital has also declined from 92 percent in its peak to seven percent.
For the record, as of 12 September 2021, national daily positivity rate was at 2.64 percent, better than global positivity rate of 8.34 percent. Indonesia’s recovery rate also reached 94.03 percent, above the world average of 89.59 percent.
On that occasion, the President also emphasized that COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to 72.76 million people or 34.94 percent out of the target set by the Government. In term of doses, 42.2 percent of the target has been injected to the public.
“We will continue to speed up vaccination drive. Nevertheless, we must maintain vigilance and always enforce discipline in adhering to health protocols. Always keep your mask on,” he said.
The President further said that maintaining public health is a priority and recovering economic activities is an obligation. Therefore, the Government, he added, also continues to seek the best solution to handle the pandemic and restore economic activities.
“We must balance the “gas and brake” measure and adjust it with the latest situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, in an effort to revive the economy, the Government will continue to implement the National Economic Recovery (PEN) program, one of which through providing incentives for business sector.
According to the President, the Government in 2020 allocated Rp695.2 trillion of budget for national economic programs and the budget realization reached Rp579.8 trillion, while in 2021 the budget allocation amounted Rp774.75 trillion in which Rp305.5 trillion has been realized as of July 2021.
“The budget was fairly distributed to both health sector and economic recovery sector so it can stimulate balanced economic activities,” he said, adding that the Government has also enforced public activity restrictions (PPKM) and gradually restored public activities according to situation on the ground in each region.
“Health is fundamental but economy is no less important. Alhamdulillah, thank God, our efforts to gradually restore economic activities are supported by the compliance of the public and business sector. Therefore, the economy has started to rebound,” the President remarked. (FID/UN)(RAS/EP)