Trade Minister: It Is Time for Economic Centers to Move

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said the time has come for the economic centers to reactivate after the Covid-19 pandemic that has now hit Indonesia for more than four months.

    “This is time for the pillars of the economy to move again by opening business activities, such as shopping centers and public markets,” said Agus after meeting Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X in Yogyakarta, Thursday, July 2.

    Agus admitted that some of the community lacked discipline in implementing the predetermined health protocols against the novel coronavirus disease. However, such discipline could be enforced while running the economic wheels that have a central role in society at the same time.

    “For example, traditional markets function as distributors of farmers' products, and so health measures can be applied along the way,” he added.

    The government is continuously ensuring that economic activities including in markets are under the health rules and would not turn into the epicenter of Covid-19 transmission. But it requires a process in raising public awareness, the minister opined.

    Thus, the government could not just directly enforce the protocols in traditional markets but adopt a persuasive approach. “We observe that after the public is educated, they obey the rules,” Agus claimed.

    He stopped short of detailing how many public markets were shut down due to the virus. “What’s clear is, when a market has a positive case, it is instantly closed temporarily, evaluated, localized, and cleaned, and the traders got tested [for Covid-19].”

    Read: Businesses Requesting New Stimulus as Economy Grows Weaker

    PRIBADI WICAKSONO (CONTRIBUTOR)