News Desk, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday visited Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta, meeting with traders and customers in the country's biggest textile trading center and was visibly without a mask during the encounter.
In the brief visit, Jokowi was joined by Jakarta acting Governor Heru Budi Hartono in distributing gifts to market visitors.
Both officials were not wearing masks while having conversations with traders in the market, flanked by presidential details who could be seen wearing masks.
Jokowi said he expected the economic activity around Tanah Abang Market could further grow in 2023, especially now that the government had lifted all remaining restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19.
"Last year and the year before has been full of hardships, so I expect that we can be more optimistic in 2023, especially because the PPKM has been lifted," Jokowi said, referring to the community activity restrictions for COVID implemented in the past two years.
On Friday, President Jokowi removed all remaining measures to control the spread of COVID-19 effective immediately, as most of the country's population already has antibodies against the disease.
Nearly 75 percent of Indonesians over the age of 6, or 174.7 million people, have received two vaccine shots and about 68.5 million have had at least one booster injection, according to data from the Health Ministry.
In recent days, President Jokowi has regularly made public appearances without wearing a mask, including during a visit to Manggarai railway Station and during the swearing in ceremony for the new Navy commander, Adm. Muhammad Ali.