Herman, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday indicated that his government will lift all social restrictions related to Covid-19 that have been in place for nearly three years, suggesting that the country is now well-equipped to deal with the ongoing pandemic.
Speaking at a seminar on the Indonesian economic outlook in Jakarta, the president said that the number of daily cases is no longer a threat to the national health system in comparison to the tens of thousands of cases a day during its peak.
"Yesterday, the daily number was recorded at 1,200 and maybe at the end of the year we will declare an end to PSBB and PPKM," the president said, referring to the Indonesian acronyms for large-scale social restrictions and people's activity restrictions that began in April 2020.
The daily tally hit a record high of 64,718 cases on February 16 triggered by the Omicron variant. The country of 273 million people has recorded 6.7 million cases and over 160,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
"We must remember the hardships we have gone through. We remember that we lacked of personal protective equipment and oxygen and hospitals were overwhelmed," Jokowi said.
The president also recalled how most of the cabinet members advised him to impose a total lockdown, which he refused due to economic considerations.
"I remember that almost 80 percent of ministers suggested that I impose a lockdown, also some elements of the society urged the same thing. Had we done that, it would have been a different story today," the president said.