The President’s Sadness

By: Taufiqurrahman, Editor of MINA’s Arabic Edition

This year 2020 is really hard for the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo. His leadership is tested because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The world concerned, the percentage of mortality due to the Coronavirus cases in Indonesia is the second-highest rank after Italy and the become highest in ASEAN.

Of course, he is sad and sadder when his beloved mother passed away. Four years suffering from cancer, he said.

The photo of Mr. Jokowi covering his face next to his mother’s body was published in the media. It seems so heavy. Thursday afternoon was buried in the last rest in Solo, Central Java Province.

That night, he must look strong before the leaders of the G20 countries meeting. He joined the G20 Extraordinary Summit session. Discussed corona from Bogor virtually, and still in mourning conditions.

The 0.125 micron-size virus has devastated the world. In Indonesia, the situation is very worrying. The number of deaths due to coronavirus in Indonesia is in the spotlight. The percentage is 8.9 percent, second-ranked after Italy.

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The worst-case scenario, as stated by the professor of CMMID Stefan Flasche, it could end up to 1 million positive cases at the end of April. If it is true, can Indonesia deal with it? Many are doubtful and sad.

Our medical infrastructure is worse. An explosion of Covid-19 patients haunts health facilities. The number of paramedics is limited. The number of doctors who died reached 9 people, beats China with just 6 people.

Our medical equipment is worried. Many health workers are forced to wear raincoats. Certainly, those do not guarantee their safety. Because of that, many of them are infected and died. That’s in the Capital City of Jakarta, how about in the remote regions?

The reality in the community is also worrying. The appeal to stay at home is a dilemma. Many people must be out of the home, make a living. On the other hand, they face corona ghosts. Online drivers, for example, their work become a bet. So, their income dropped dramatically.

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The lockdown movement is a dilemma. People need food. They have to go out for work. Then, the market is open. Foodcourts are still openning. No one guarantees their living if they have to lie down at home.

The central government does not dare to guarantee its citizens. Regional lockdown means there is a guarantee of free food distribution to the people. Maybe, Jakarta can do this, as UI’s Professors said, for 14 days lockdown, Jakarta needs Rp.4 trillion. The annual tax revenue is sufficient to cover those needs. But not with other regions. The population is bigger but the budget is small.

Fortunately, many local governments do not want to depend on the central government. They choose regional lockdown. Fighting the central government’s appeal.

In Purbalingga, the Gunungwuled local government uses Rp. 21 million to cover the living of 30 families for 14 days.

In Tegal Mayor, prepared Rp. 2 billion for the lockdown. The funding is from the voluntary association and Tegal House Representatives members.

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Finally, lockdown becomes a bitter choice. If in the end, it decided to lockdown, why it is not immediately applied?

Unfortunately, we prefer to treat rather than prevent. Even though, we know that the drugs and doctors that we have are limited. Even though, we know, we don’t have enough money to buy medicine. Even though, we know that medicine cannot definitely cure it. Or actually we do not know?

Covid-19 has turned into an economic crisis. The rupiah exchange rate dropped sharply. The shadow of the 1998 crisis is haunting.

But I agree with Nana Akufo Addo’s statement, President of Ghana. Which is viral in Indonesia. And Mr. Jokowi should be inspired by him. So that this year’s sadness passed with a smile.

“We know how to revive people’s economy. But we don’t know how to revive the dead people, “Nana said after announcing a partial lockdown in the Republic of Ghana. (AT/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)