Expert Advises Lockdown, Argues Economic Rescue Scenario Possible

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Laila Afifa

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  • Red cross staff wearing protective suits spray disinfectant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    Red cross staff wearing protective suits spray disinfectant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The increasing number of coronavirus cases caused by the new delta strain motivated a plethora of public figures to call for a lockdown. An economist from Institute of Development on Economics and Finance (Indef), Bhima Yudhistira, suggested the President make the call as he argued it would reduce the risk of facing economic losses.

    “We have calculated the risk of imposing a national lockdown would at least use up Rp11-25 trillion for 14 days,” said the economist to Tempo on Thursday, June 24. 

    Especially for the capital city of Jakarta, Yudhistira assumed that the government would need to prepare a budget of Rp550 billion to Rp7.7 trillion if a total lockdown is imposed for two weeks. Based on his calculation, Jakarta contributes to 70 percent of the national money circulation.

    Despite being considered as a large amount of spending, he believed this would overcome the expected GDP losses if the total public activity restriction is not imposed amounting to an estimated Rp77-308 trillion. 

    He argued Indonesia risks losing GDP more than Rp 463-848 trillion by not implementing a lockdown. He forecasted that Indonesia’s economic growth could log 3.4.5 percent by the end of the year by imposing the restriction.

    “So why not just lock it down as the cost is cheaper than the loss if not doing so. After the lockdown succeeds, the economy can solidly grow. Don’t make half-hearted policies amids an emergency situation,” said the economist. 

    Read: Health Minister Asserts President's Orders: 'Public Health Over Economy'

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA