Bangun Santoso and Stephanus Aranditio – It was not just President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The wedding of YouTuber Atta Halilintar and actress Aurel Hermansyah was attended by a number of senior government officials, including Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto
Australian Griffith University Epidemiologist Dicky Budiman expressed concern about the attendance of Widodo and other senior state officials at Halilintar and Hermansyah's wedding amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Budiman said that while the event did indeed appear to have been held according to tight health protocols in order to reduce Covid-19 infections, on the other hand many other wedding events which have been broken up by police have also applied such health protocols.
"This is not a good example [to set] in a pandemic situation, because it looks like these [health] protocols are selective in nature, not long ago I saw another wedding that was broken up", Budiman told Suara.com on Monday April 5.
Budiman asserted that the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia is not yet under control because the positivity rate or rate of infection is still high at 12 percent (the World Health Organisation's safe standard is 5 percent).
In addition to this, at the same time there has also been an increase in the death rate due to Covid-19 which soured on Sunday to as many as 427 people.
"Yesterday our deaths were 427 people in a day, and perhaps this is one of the highest, it's a very serious sign, I think that under this situation it's very important that there is commitment and consistency by all parties", he asserted.
Budiman is asking the government to apply the health protocol regulations as fairly as possible because state officials absolutely did not set a good example during the Covid-19 pandemic when they attended Halilintar and Hermansyah's wedding.
"The [health] protocols that are in force don't discriminate, they apply to everyone, even for people close to [government] officials, there [can't] be exceptions for public figures. In this republic setting an example must be held in the highest regard", he said in closing.
Widodo also became the target of public criticism in February following a presidential visit in Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara, which drew large crowds that according to videos circulation on social media clearly violated health protocols but were ignored by security personnel. Police later refused to accept an official complaint over the violations submitted by the Anti-Injustice Social Coalition who said it raised questions about the principle of equality before the law (see https://www.indoleft.org/news/2021-02-25/police-reject-report-on-health-protocol-violations-during-jokowi-visit-to-maumere.html).
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Epidemiolog Kritik Jokowi Hadiri Nikahan Atta-Aurel: Prokes Pilih-pilih!".]