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Indonesians should harbor optimism to haul country out of crisis: Official

The Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway in Indonesia is part of China’s globe-spanning Belt and Road Initiative. Photo: Xinhua. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, Sep 17, 2020, ANTARA. State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Erick Thohir called on the government and Indonesians to continue to harbor optimism to bring Indonesia out of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, ANTARA reported.

“Optimism should remain high that Indonesia can emerge out of this crisis,” he noted at the HSBC Economic Forum in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Thohir remarked that Indonesia was currently witnessing an improvement in terms of the mortality rate, from eight percent in April to 3.99 percent.

“Indeed, globally, it is still better (3.18 percent), but through hard work and mutual cooperation, we are certain of being able to continue to suppress this fatality figure,” he remarked.

Furthermore, the minister stated that Indonesia is also recording a positive trend, in terms of the economy, as compared to G20 countries, such as India, France, and the UK.

“We are in a better position. Hence, Mr Jokowi’s decision not to lock down is the right one,” he stated.

Meanwhile, in comparison with countries in Asia, such as Singapore and Malaysia, Indonesia is still better off, although it still ranks below Taiwan and South Korea.

“Moreover, yesterday, an observer just informed us that as compared to several countries in the world, we are still in an optimistic situation,” he pointed out.

Furthermore, he pointed to Indonesia’s huge market share from a demographic perspective, specifically in terms of the number of people from the middle class that had steadily grown, from seven percent to 20 percent, or 52 million of the total 237-million population.

Thohir noted that the growing middle class brings huge potential to the market, surpassing that of some of the big nations in the world.

“In comparison with other countries, such as the population of South Korea, 55 million is almost the same, South Africa, 56 million; and also Spain, 46 million,” he remarked.

The number of districts and cities in Indonesia classified as red zones, or areas with a high COVID-19 transmission risk, declined to 41, as of September 13, 2020, as compared to 70 earlier.

“It is good news that the number of districts and cities classified as red zones has fallen, from 70 to 41,” spokesperson for the National COVID-19 Task Force Wiku Adisasmito had earlier stated during an online press conference at the Presidential Palace here on Tuesday.

With a decline in the COVID-19 transmission risk, 34 districts and cities, earlier categorized as red zones, have been designated as orange zones, or areas with a moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission, he stated.

Consequently, the number of districts and cities classified as orange zones this week has increased to 293, from 267 earlier, he added.

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