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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 handling ‘not that bad’, Jokowi says as nation surpasses 300,000 cases

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, October 4, 2020   /   04:48 pm
COVID-19 handling ‘not that bad’, Jokowi says as nation surpasses 300,000 cases President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo speaks during a visit to the national COVID-19 task force office at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) headquarters in East Jakarta. (Courtesy of Presidential Press Bureau/Muchlis Jr)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has claimed that the country’s COVID-19 control efforts are going well, as the nation enters its eighth month of the outbreak and exceeds 300,000 cases.

“Let’s judge this based on facts and data, not based on estimates,” Jokowi said in a video posted on the Presidential Secretariat’s YouTube channel on Saturday night. “I can say that COVID-19 handling in Indonesia is not that bad. In fact, it is quite good.” 

He said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in Indonesia was significantly lower than that of other countries with large populations. The video displayed the case counts of countries such as the United States, India and Brazil, which number in the millions.

He did not address the fact that Indonesia’s COVID-19 testing rate remains significantly lower than the rates of those countries. The nation has conducted 12,854 tests per 1 million people, compared to the US’s 333,407 tests per 1 million and India’s 57,096 tests per 1 million.

The government has been criticized for a lack of transparency regarding the COVID-19 death toll. Suspected virus deaths recorded at the provincial level reached 12,362 on Friday, surpassing the 11,151 total confirmed deaths reported by the Health Ministry on Sunday.  

The President called for optimism, saying the country’s economy had not been hit as hard by the pandemic as other Southeast Asian countries had. 

“We should look at the silver lining so that we stay optimistic and don’t lose hope,” he said. 

Jokowi pledged that his Cabinet would work harder to find solutions to the pandemic and its consequences.

“We have to continue to improve everything, and there is still a lot of work that we must do,” he said. “We have to continue to adjust policies to find the best ones.”

As of Saturday, the central government had recorded 303,498 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11,151 deaths.