Dio Suhenda and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has underlined that the spirit of mutual cooperation and collaboration across all parts of society had strengthened the country's COVID-19 response.
Dressed in the traditional attire of the Baduy indigenous culture of Banten province, the President delivered his State of the Union Address before the country's executive, legislative and judicial branches at the House of Representatives complex on Monday, marking the second year that Jokowi has delivered the annual address under the shadow of COVID-19.
In his speech, the President claimed that the government had made "significant progress" in improving the country's health infrastructure in response to the pandemic, while also noting that inter-institutional cooperation had grown stronger.
"Cross-sectoral and cross-institutional cooperation, including between the central government and regional administrations down to the village level, are also undergoing consolidation. This has helped increase the capacity of the health sector and allowed it to better face the high uncertainty amid the pandemic," Jokowi said on Monday.
The President also said the pandemic had strengthened the Indonesian spirit of mutual cooperation, or gotong royong, underlining that the pandemic had highlighted public health as a "common agenda" and therefore strengthened social institutions and enhanced social capital.
"[A person] who contracts COVID-19 carries the risk of [infecting] others," said Jokowi. "This disease is a shared problem, and being healthy is our shared goal."
He added that the government sought to strike a balance between public health and the economy while it continued to respond to rapid developments in the country's COVID-19 situation.
Jokowi cited the public activity restrictions (PPKM) as an example of the government's efforts to find the best possible policy in its pandemic response, since the PPKM could be adjusted to meet public needs according the latest COVID-19 developments.
"It may be perceived as an ever-changing policy, an inconsistent policy. In fact, it is imperative to find the best combination between public health and economic interests," he said. "[COVID-19] handling must be done with an adaptive strategy."