Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - The Aceh Legislative Council (DPRA) has revealed that the province has set aside Rp1.74 trillion for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and to deal with its impact on the socio-economic and health sectors.

The total allocated budget for COVID-19 mitigation efforts was disclosed by the Aceh provincial administration's budget team to the DPRA, the council's speaker, Dahlan Jamaluddin, told journalists here on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 related funds have been allocated under the unexpected expenses head of the Aceh Province's 2020 Budget, he said, adding that the provincial government is focusing on public health, dealing with the pandemic’s economic impact, and offering social safety net programs.

So far, the allocated funds of Rp1.74 trillion have not been used because the Aceh provincial administration is still utilizing the funds set aside for unexpected expenses, totaling Rp118 billion, Jamaluddin said.

"We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will end soon, so that the allocated funds of Rp1.74 trillion do not have to be used," he added.

The coronavirus disease, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, has since spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Indonesia, leaving a massive death toll in its wake.

The Indonesian Government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2 this year. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has weakened the purchasing power of scores of Indonesian families, particularly those who have lost their jobs.

As of May 5, 2020, Indonesia has registered 12,071 confirmed cases, while the number of COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals after fully recovering from the disease has touched 2,197. The death toll from the coronavirus has reached 972 so far.

President Jokowi has highlighted the importance of fostering the spirit of "gotong royong", or mutual cooperation, in handling the current crisis, given the fact that the government cannot work alone to stem the spread of coronavirus infections and control their fallout.

The central and regional governments nationwide have been striving to flatten the coronavirus curve by imposing healthcare protocols and social restrictions.

To break the chain of transmission, large-scale social restrictions have been implemented in several cities, including Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.

The central government has also banned homebound travel, locally known as "mudik", during the fasting month of Ramadhan and the Idul Fitri holiday season. (INE)

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Translator: M.Haris SA, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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