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YLKI slams economic interest over public health in PSBB debate

Tempo - September 14, 2020

Wintang Warastri, Jakarta – The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) Chairperson Tulus Abadi on Sunday deems the social restriction (PSBB) that the Jakarta administration had reinstated as the city's final stand in battling against the COVID-19 pandemic and break the chain of infections.

"From the viewpoint of public health and the politics of pandemic mitigation, the PSBB is an inevitability during an escalating COVID-19 pandemic in Jakarta. It's a paradox that the Jakarta PSBB is still the subject of debate among elites," Tulus Abadi wrote in a statement on Sunday.

Abadi asserts that the safety and wellbeing of the public should not be compromised and also criticized the letter sent by Indonesian billionaire Michael Bambang Hartono and owner of cigarette brand-giant Djarum to President Jokowi, which he says reflects the battle of priority between public health and economy.

"The rejection by Budi Hartono against the PSBB reflects his business interest, especially the addictive substances business," said Tulus Abadi.

However, the YLKI chairperson acknowledges that there are two aspects driving the spiking COVID-19 cases in Indonesia's capital city; the government's hasty decision to rejuvenate the economy and the public that lacks discipline in abiding by strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This is also the reason why Tulus Abadi thinks the latest PSBB reinstatement is the "final bet" for every stakeholder to collectively mitigate the pandemic before the effects are felt in a national level.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1386019/ylki-slams-economic-interest-over-public-health-in-psbb-debate