No need for social restrictions, we’ll go into recession: Health Ministry

CNN Indonesia – September 1, 2020
Crowds gather without maintaining social distance – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The acting director general for health services at the Health Ministry, Abdul Kadir, says that Indonesia no longer needs large scale social restrictions (PSBB), despite the fact that the corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic is not over yet.

Kadir said that social restricts will only hamper the economy and if the economy is obstructed this will in fact create even bigger problems in the midst of the pandemic.

“We don’t need it anymore, for example having to have lockdowns, having PSBB, there’s no need. If we lockdown or PSBB, what will happen? The economy won’t run, our country will go into recession”, said Kadir during a Hasanuddin University (Unhas) 64th Dies Natalis (anniversary) National Symposium which was broadcast live on the Unhas Public Healthcare Faculty YouTube channel on Tuesday September 1.

Kadir said that all parties must make peace with Covid-19 and that normal activities resume by applying health protocols such as wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining distance.

He is also of the view that up until now the government has handled the Covid-19 pandemic well. Kadir even claimed that the government has succeeded in overcoming the pandemic.

“If we look at the achievements by the Indonesian government in overcoming Covid-19 they can be seen from our case fertility rate (death rate). In the early stages it was around 9.8 percent. Now it is around 4.35 percent”, he said.

As of Monday August 31 the cumulative number of Covid-19 positive cases in Indonesia stood at 174,796 with 7,417 deaths and 125,959 recoveries.

The number of positive cases in Indonesia has continuing to rise. On three occasions last week between Thursday August 27 and Saturday August 29 Indonesia recorded record daily increases with more than 3,000 new cases on three consecutive days.

A number of regions such as Bogor city and Depok city in West Java have tightened up local restrictions by imposing night curfews. Jakarta meanwhile has again extended the PSBB transition. (dhf)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kemenkes: Tak Perlu PSBB, Negara Bisa Resesi”.]