"Economic growth has clocked an optimistic figure. Meanwhile, the trend of daily COVID-19 cases continues to decline,” President Widodo stated in Jakarta on Tuesday (Apr 20).
President Widodo pointed to Indonesia's economic growth of minus 2.1 percent in 2020.
"We only lost to China that recorded a positive economic growth. The others -- the US, Japan, Germany, Italy, and France -- all recorded minus growth,” the head of state pointed out.
Currently, the president remarked that the daily count of COVID-19 cases stood in the range of four to five thousand, or much lower than that during the January-February period when the figure was still above 10 thousand.
"The application of restrictions on micro-scale community activities is still the key to controlling COVID-19," the president affirmed.
Hence, Widodo is optimistic of this condition being maintained and improved, so that economic growth can continue to move in a positive direction.
To this end, in welcoming the 2021 Eid Al-Fitr, the president urged the public to strictly comply with the government’s ban on the homecoming exodus.
Widodo highlighted the importance of the ban on the homecoming exodus to prevent a spike in cases akin to what had occurred during the January-February 2021 period.
"Our economic growth is already good. Do not bother with COVID-19 anymore," the president stated.
Taking a cue from previous experiences, the president noted that the increase in community mobility during the holidays had led to an increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases.
Citing an example, the president stated that during the Eid al-Fitr holidays on May 22-25 last year, the number of positive cases increased by 68 to 93 percent on an average.
During the Islamic New Year holidays on August 20-23, 2020, the average count of positive cases climbed by 58-119 percent.
Meanwhile, during the holidays to commemorate Prophet Muhammad's birthday on October 28-November 1, 2020, the figure also increased by 37-95 percent.
Hence, President Widodo had oftentimes pushed for a ban on the homecoming exodus.
"This (the ban on homecoming exodus) is necessary since according to the survey we have conducted, 11 percent of the people are still keen to go home this year," the president stated.
If converted, the 11-percent survey figure equals 17 million people, the head of state noted.
"If homecoming is not prohibited, our calculations will rise, from 120 thousand to 140 thousand COVID-19 cases per day. Hence, we really have to keep pressing," the president concluded.
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