Minister Erick Thohir Denies Economy is Prioritized Above Public Health

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaHead of the COVID-19 mitigation committee, Erick Thohir on Tuesday asserts that the government’s reluctance to impose a lockdown or quarantine does not mean it prioritizes the country’s economic interest over public health. 

    “I don’t think that’s the issue,” said Erick Thohir at the Transportation Ministry’s webinar on September 15. 

    He argues that each and every country has their own unique formula that is considered compatible to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy at once. “The formula in each country varies.”

    Erick Thohir also managed to consider the current situation as a “perfect storm” as what has affected the country’s health aspect is largely tied to the country’s economy. Indonesia’s decision to impose a large-scale social restriction (PSBB) differs from what most COVID-19-affected countries have done, which is to impose a lockdown. 

    However, a health expert believes that the government - during the early days of the pandemic - had underestimated the pandemic as epidemiologist Pandu Riono argues “Handling the pandemic was never thought about, what was worried is that this would aggravate the economy,” said Pandu Riono in Tempo’s online talk show on Thursday, September 10.

    Read also: Erick Thohir Keen to Expedite Mass Covid-19 Vaccination in 2020's End

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