Indonesians should keep spirit of "Boedi Oetomo" alive: Jokowi

Indonesians should keep spirit of "Boedi Oetomo" alive: Jokowi

President Joko Widodo (Rosa)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) commemorated National Awakening Day on Thursday by urging the nation to maintain unity and keep the spirit of "gotong royong," or mutual cooperation, alive to win the fight against COVID-19.

"With the spirit of Budi Utomo, today, we unite and collaborate to awaken and win our fight against the pandemic. Together, we move toward an advanced Indonesia," he remarked.

President Jokowi expressed his words of encouragement on his official Instagram account @jokowi to commemorate National Awakening Day that falls on May 20 every year.

This annual event is celebrated to commemorate the historic foundation of prominent nationalist organization Boedi Oetomo on May 20, 1908.

Founded by Dr Soetomo, this nationalist organization is believed to be the pioneer for Indonesia's struggle for independence through its power of thoughts.

In 1948, Indonesia's founding father and first president, Soekarno, determined the foundation day of Boedi Oetomo as the country's National Awakening Day.

President Jokowi remarked that the people at large have been struggling to deal with the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on the public health and economy since last year.

"The world has been gripped by the global pandemic of COVID-19 for more than a year, and Indonesia is also struggling to address its impacts for more than a year," Jokowi stated.

Indonesia has continually striven to win the fight against the global coronavirus disease pandemic that has acutely impacted its economy and public health.

The Indonesian government has begun a nationwide vaccination program to contain infections since January 13, 2021.

As of Wednesday, the number of fully vaccinated Indonesians had reached 9,366,635, while the total count of those receiving their first COVID-19 jab was recorded at 14,099,754.

The Indonesian Health Ministry had pegged the vaccination of some 181.5 million people under the national program to take about 15 months.

"We need 15 months to accomplish it. The time frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January 2021 to March 2022," Health Ministry's spokesperson for the vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated recently.

During the period, the government is targeting to inoculate about 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, according to Tarmizi.

Tarmizi noted that the first phase of the government's immunization program has been divided into two periods: January-April 2021 and April 2021-March 2022. Related news: Technology Awakening Day offers momentum to develop COVID-19 vaccine
Related news: National Awakening Day should be used for reflection, correction: Minister