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Jakarta Post

Critics lambast govt over bullish tone in COVID-19 messages

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Ardila Syakriah

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 30 2020   /  01:00 am
People wearing protective face masks sit at the park amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

Activists and public health experts have criticized the government for failing to balance between optimistic and cautionary messages in disseminating COVID-19 information, which they say could undermine public health measures to tackle the pandemic. Indonesia has been struggling to communicate and carry out a consistent and effective response to the current pandemic, owing partly to the sheer complexity of a bureaucracy responsible for more than 260 million people. As a result, an increasing number of state actors have opted for action that, more often than not, causes friction and confusion as to how best to respond to a multifaceted crisis in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Anita Wahid, a member of the committee for the Indonesian Anti-Slander Society (Mafindo), said she had noticed recently that the government had a tendency to convey an optimistic tone in its...