Vaccination game changer to control pandemic: Indonesian president

19-Jan-2021 Intellasia | Xinhua | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The vaccination programme constitutes a game changer to control the COVID-19 pandemic and a key to recover the economy which has slumped down due to the coronavirus, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said.

“Controlling a pandemic, especially through vaccination is a game changer,” the president said, adding that it is a very decisive key to make people resume works and return to worships solemnly, while “our children would go back to schools normally, and the national economy would revive soon.”

The head of state made the remarks at a virtual annual meeting of the 2021 financial service industry in Jakarta on Friday.

He called on all parties to be optimistic in 2021 which would be a turning point of the COVID-19 pandemic issue which started in early 2020.

He hoped that people would remain disciplined in abiding by the health protocols even after they have been vaccinated until the whole world return to normalcy without pandemic.

The vaccination programme was launched Wednesday with the president receiving the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine, and will continue until it creates a herd immunity.

Meanwhile, Industry minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita was upbeat that Indonesia’s economic growth would be in the range between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent this year.

“The game changer for the national economic recovery during the pandemic is the implementation of this vaccination,” the minister said.

This estimate is in line with global growth projections by a number of international agencies.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects that the global economy will grow to 4.0 percent this year, while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates 5.3 percent, and the World Bank 4.4 percent.

PT Manulife Asset Management Indonesia’s Chief Economist & Investment Strategist Katarina Setiawan predicted that the COVID-19 vaccination programme would help support the domestic economy to be better this year.

“We see that this macroeconomic condition will be stronger in 2021, supported by the government’s vaccination programme,” Katarina Setiawan said.

In 2021, she estimated the composite stock price index would reach 6,740 to 7,040, economic growth of 4.3 to 4.5 percent, inflation of 2.8 to 3 percent, and the benchmark interest rate of central bank Bank Indonesia of 3.5 percent to 3.75 percent, while the rupiah exchange rate would reach between 13,800 rupiahs per US dollar and 14,500 rupiahs per US dollar.

News reports about President Widodo receiving the first jab in the COVID-19 vaccination using a vaccine made by China’s biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, became a positive catalyst for the composite stock price index on Wednesday’s trading.

Indonesia on Thursday started its massive coronavirus vaccination programme with health workers across the archipelago getting the main priority.

Deputy minister of Health Dante Saksono who received a dose of the vaccine at a hospital, said about 1.4 million health workers across the country will be injected gradually before inoculating public servants.

He expressed hopes that the massive vaccination programme would help Indonesia get herd immunity after 70 percent of the population is vaccinated.

Indonesia plans to vaccinate about 180 million people, representing two thirds of the population of the largest Muslim country. The health ministry expects 15 months to complete the programme.

The country’s food and drug authority BPOM issued the emergency use authorisation for Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday after interim results of its late-stage trials in the country showed an efficacy rate of 65.3 percent.

The vaccine has also been ruled by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) halal, or acceptable for use under the Islamic law.

Last week, the president said that Indonesia has ordered a total of 329.5 million doses of vaccines from pharmaceutical manufacturers of different countries. The COVID-19 vaccines will be free of charge for all Indonesians.


Category: Indonesia

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