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Jakarta Post

'Ample room' in COVID-19 budget, say officials, despite low spending and record cases

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 19, 2020   /  07:21 am
The Jakarta Post Image
A health worker takes a nasopharyngeal swab on Nov. 2, 2020 at the Genomik Solidaritas Indonesia (GSI) Laboratory in Cilandak, South Jakarta. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Officials have made assurances that the government's health budget is sufficient to fund the national COVID-19 response, even as cases soar to record highs and patients start filling up hospital beds two weeks after the long holiday weekend at the end of October. National COVID-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said on Tuesday that the government still had plenty of spending room in its healthcare budget. “We could still optimize the budget disbursement” to fight the coronavirus, Wiku told The Jakarta Post by text message. He added that the disbursement considered “many aspects and with great care” to ensure accountability and effectiveness. The government has allocated to health care just Rp 97.26 trillion (US$6.9 billion) of its Rp 695.2 trillion budget for the Coronavirus Handling and National Economic Recovery (PC-PEN) program...