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Jakarta Post

Indonesia must control virus spread to hasten recovery: Economists

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas


Jakarta   /   Mon, August 10 2020   /  01:00 am
Waiting to be tested: Workers wait to undergo a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) building in Jakarta, on Monday. The tests were held after seven KPK employees tested positive for COVID-19 from May to July. Since the reopening, offices have become new clusters of the coronavirus in the capital.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Indonesia must focus on controlling the spread of the coronavirus to speed up the economic recovery, economists have said, arguing that the current healthcare response could instead push the economy into a deep recession this year. The government should implement strict virus containment protocols, such as those implemented by China and Vietnam, to expedite the economic recovery, said the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) economist Didik Rachbini on Thursday. “We should not dream of an economic recovery if we can’t control the virus spread,” Didik said in a virtual discussion. “Although we may not see another lockdown, the government must shift its focus to control the pandemic first or its risks a deeper economic slump.” Indonesia’s economy shrank 5.32 percent in the second quarter, the worst since 1999’s first ...