Indonesian President says there is a need to balance health and economy in a pandemic


Jakarta-Indonesia President Joko Widodo said on Monday that health and economic benefits need to be balanced amid the surge in COVID-19 incidents in Southeast Asia’s largest country.

“The pandemic has certainly slowed our economic growth significantly, but it must not interfere with the process of structural reform of our economy,” the president said in his annual speech to Parliament.

Indonesian hospitals, suffering from a surge in infectious diseases caused by Delta variants, have had the highest daily deaths in the world and have been occasionally overwhelmed by total deaths exceeding 100,000. ..

However, in a video released on Sunday, Jokowi said bed occupancy at COVID-19 hospitals across Java has declined, with levels in the capital Jakarta dropping from about 90% of its peak in late June to 29.4%. He added that he did.

The infection has begun to peak on Java’s most populous island, but the infection has spread to other parts of the archipelago, officials said.

Known as president, Jokowi cited the introduction of stricter social restrictions last month as an example of balance, requiring non-essential department staff to work from home and restrict the operation of malls and restaurants. I did.

“What we have to do is find the best combination between public health and economic benefits,” said Jokowi, who wore the traditional costumes of the Baduy people of Indonesia during his speech. Told.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy emerged from recession in the second quarter, with GDP annual growth of 7%, but rising coronavirus cases and movement restrictions have boosted recovery momentum in the third quarter. I’m threatened.

The restrictions will be enforced until Monday on Java and August 23 on the other four major islands.

The government has faced criticism of dealing with the pandemic, and some health experts have cited resistance from authorities to tighter blockades to protect the economy.

Jokowi acknowledged the criticisms directed at his government, saying that constructive criticisms were important “especially on issues we could not solve.”