Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on the public to remain patient and calm as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the lives of Indonesians across the archipelago.
In a mass prayer event held by the Religious Affairs Ministry on Thursday morning, Jokowi encouraged the public to stay optimistic by assisting those in need during these unprecedented times.
He also emphasized the importance of praying as a vital component in the country's efforts to overcome the current health crisis.
"Let us face this challenge with patience and composure. Panic is half of the disease, equanimity is half of a cure, and patience determines recovery," Jokowi said in his opening speech.
The President went on to say that he was moved by the rise of community movements that aim to provide for the needs of those bearing the brunt of the health emergency, as it signifies the country's unwavering commitment to humanitarian causes.
"[...] the rise of unity from all corners [of the nation] is a great force that strengthens my belief that we can overcome this disaster together," Jokowi said.
In the same event, COVID-19 national task force head Doni Monardo also called on citizens to support each other and keep practicing preventive measures to minimize the risk of infection.
"I believe that, with the spirit of unity and discipline, we will be able to survive [this pandemic]," Doni said.
The event, which was streamed live on the Presidential Secretariat's YouTube channel, featured several prominent religious figures, including Muslim scholar Quraish Shihab, Indonesia Confucianism High Assembly (Matakin) chairman Budi S. Tanuwibowo, and Indonesian Council of Bishops chairman Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo.
As of Wednesday, Indonesia had confirmed at least 15,438 COVID-19 cases and 1,028 deaths linked to the disease.