I have received a report from Home Minister (Tito Karnavian) on the budget readiness
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) spoke of being kept abreast of the budget readiness for this year's regional elections to be held simultaneously in nine provinces on Dec 9 amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

"I have received a report from Home Minister (Tito Karnavian) on the budget readiness," he stated at a virtual meeting held to discuss preparations for this year's simultaneous regional elections at the Merdeka Palace here on Wednesday.

Ensuring budget readiness was deemed crucial since the regional elections would be held in nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for which stringent imposition of health protocols was crucial, he stated.

President Jokowi also requested related government agencies to keep him updated on the requisite precautionary measures to be adopted to handle security issues and potential threats ahead of this year's regional elections.

President Jokowi has demanded related ministries and General Elections Commission (KPU) to enforce strict health protocols to attain a maximum participation rate in the regional elections.

"Most importantly, we must be able to convince voters that the KPU and Government are highly concerned about public health and safety," he affirmed.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries, including Germany, Singapore, South Korea, and France, had convened their regional and national elections, President Jokowi noted.

The strict enactment of health protocols to break the chain of COVID-19 infection was deemed significant to convince eligible voters to cast their votes in ballot booths. Thus, this festival of democracy could be run peacefully and fairly, he stated.

"The strict enforcement of health protocols will additionally proffer a sense of safety and security to voters, so that the participation rates are also managed optimally," he stated.

Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

COVID-19 thereafter spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a huge rise in death toll.

Papua has made persistent, all-out efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve.

As of August 4, Indonesia had registered 1,922 new confirmed cases, thereby bringing the tally to 115,056, while the total number of people recovering from COVID-19 had reached 72,050, with 1,813 new recoveries.

The death toll has reached 5,388, with 86 people additionally succumbing to COVID-19, according to the Indonesian Task Force for COVID-19 response.

A total of 22,902 specimens from 13,456 people were examined at 320 laboratories across Indonesia on Tuesday, thereby bringing the total count of specimens subject to laboratory examination to 1,575,043 from 907,987 people so far.

East Java emerged as the province with the highest number of confirmed cases reaching 430; followed by 410 cases in Jakarta; 119 cases in South Kalimantan; 117 cases in South Sulawesi; and 94 cases in West Java.
Related news: Jokowi highlights importance of enforcing health protocols in Pilkada

Related news: Prepare for safe simultaneous regional elections amid COVID-19: Jokowi


Translator: Hanni S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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