Rights commission accuses government of prioritising economy instead of health

JPNN – July 28, 2020
Health worker conducting swap tests at market – Undated (JPNN)

Jakarta – National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Commissioner Choirul Anam says that the government’s narrative on lifestyles under the “new normal” has in fact complicated the handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic in Indonesia.

According to Anam, the government has pushed the new normal narrative at a time when the preconditions for opening up the economy have not yet been met. Such as the precondition that there is a decline in the number of new Covid-19 cases, the public has a high level of compliance with health protocols and there is strong social solidarity.

“The new normal was applied on June 1, this was the start of the complications which we are experiencing recently”, said Anam in a Komnas HAM video conference titled Critical Notes on Handling Covid-19 in Indonesia, on Tuesday July 28.

Anam explained that the new normal narrative is based on an economic paradigm saying that the government is prioritising saving the economy that has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the emergence of the new normal narrative, added Anam, efforts to bring down the spread of Covid-19 have become increasingly difficult. Now, the number of positive cases in Indonesia has already passed 100,000 cases.

In addition to this, said Anam, new Covid-19 clusters have emerged as a flow on from the new normal narrative being pushed by the government. Instead of resulting in a decline in new Covid-19 cases, the epidemic is increasingly out of control.

“If seen from the media there are new clusters. Before the clusters were in places of worship, markets, cafes and so forth, now there are clusters in work places, offices. If before there were still factories and in the end it was controlled because there was a policy achievement on health issues, now on account of the official stamp, the new normal status, it’s totally out of control” he said.

Furthermore, said Anam, nationally, the new normal narrative is creating confusion in the regions on what position to take when the spread of Covid-19 increases. This is because the regions do not have strong legal bases to apply large scale social restrictions (PSBB) as a way of bringing down the spread of Covid-19.

“What about the regions where the number of positive cases is growing. They don’t have any policies. It is here that we refer to legal weaknesses”, he said.

“Currently efforts to safeguard health are weak because of the decision to apply the new normal policy. All efforts are being directed towards propping up the economy”, said Anam. (mg10/jpnn)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “New Normal Berparadigma Ekonomi, COVID-19 Kian Tak Terkendali”.]

Source: https://www.jpnn.com/news/new-normal-berparadigma-ekonomi-covid-19-kian-tak-terkendali