"I am optimistic that 2021 is our year of recovery and rebound. To this end, we should handle and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic immediately," he noted at a virtual meeting for discussions on this year's national development plans at the Merdeka Palace here.
To this end, President Jokowi drew attention to the significance of making next year's government working plan adaptive to the current situation since the government’s steps taken this year would lay the foundation for the years ahead.
In tackling the COVID-19-related challenges, the government has reallocated and shifted the focus of its budget on three prioritized areas of health, social safety net, and stimulus for boosting economic recovery, he stated.
"We need to make an immediate move to save the entire nation," he stated at the meeting, held for drafting the government's 2021 working plan, in which the participants comprised top executives of regional governments and the Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) all over the country.
President Jokowi admitted to being aware of the fact that no one could accurately forecast when the coronavirus pandemic would end in the world. However, the government should prepare various policies as a precautionary measure against the impacts of the pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and thereafter spread across the world, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.
The central and regional governments have since then striven persistently to flatten the coronavirus curve by imposing healthcare protocols and social restrictions.
To break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, large-scale social restrictions have been enforced in several cities, including Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and Pekanbaru.
The central government has also banned homebound travel, locally known as ‘mudik', during the fasting month of Ramadhan and the Idul Fitri holiday season.
As of April 29, 2020, the government has recorded 9,771 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country, while 1,391 patients were discharged from hospital after making a full recovery, while 7,596 others remain hospitalized. Death toll from the virus has touched 784. Related news: Baswedan to distribute 20 million free masks to Jakarta citizens
Related news: Jokowi urges governors to draft programs to support stimulus package
EDITED BY INE