Indonesia’s Widodo tells ministers to ‘exert all energy’ to curb COVID-19

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered ministers in his Cabinet on Wednesday (May 6) to use “whatever means” necessary to ensure the country’s infection curve of the coronavirus outbreak goes down in May, to reach a low in cases by July.

“I ask that you exert all of your energy and concentrate on efforts to control COVID-19 and its impact,” Widodo said during a Cabinet meeting broadcast by media.

Widodo also ordered ministers to ensure economic stimulus went to sectors that had suffered the greatest contraction, based on first-quarter data on the gross domestic product.

READ: Indonesia COVID-19 cases pass 12,000 mark, death toll at 872

Indonesia on Tuesday reported its biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases with 484 new infections, taking the national total to 12,071. 

The health ministry also reported eight more deaths, taking the death toll to 872. 

READ: Indonesia’s Q1 GDP growth weakest since 2001, recession looms

Indonesia’s economy grew at its weakest pace since 2001 in the first quarter, as the pandemic halted business activity in Southeast Asia’s largest economy and fuelled expectations of a looming recession.

Gross domestic product in January-March expanded a slower-than-expected 2.97 per cent from a year earlier, the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2001, statistics bureau data showed, and down from the previous quarter’s 4.97 per cent.

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