LaporCovid-19 accuses government of putting economy before public health

Source – July 5, 2021
Man walks past mural encouraging people to fight against Covid-19 – October 17, 2020 (Antara)

Sania Mashabi, Jakarta – The initiator of the citizen data platform LaporCovid-19, Irma Hidayana, says that current the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia is because the government failed to implement effective prevention measures at the start of the pandemic.

According to Hidayana, the government often put the economy first rather than public health.

"I'm not saying that the government did not implement prevention measures, but the measures implemented by the government were not effective", said Hidayana during a virtual discussion on Monday July 5.

"Dealing with public health is still number two compared with economic policies. If it had been effective, we would not have reached a surged [in cases] such as this", she continued.

Hidayana also believes that the government is persisting in using national data on the number of patients confirmed Covid-19 positive.

Yet, she said, this figure does not depict the real situation on the ground because testing rates in Indonesia are still low.

Aside from the problem of data discrepancies, continued Hidayana, Indonesia is also experiencing a problem with the number of healthcare workers which is declining because many have been infected with Covid-19.

As well as the problem of hospitals and healthcare faculties which are full so it is hard for people to get treatment.

"I think an apology and an acknowledgement by the government [over the situation] is needed, aside from concrete solutions to provide assistance when people need oxygen, hospitals, to self-isolate, asking for help", she said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "LaporCovid-19 Nilai Lonjakan Kasus Saat Ini akibat Pencegahan di Awal Pandemi Tak Efektif".]