President Joko Widodo said he won’t follow in the way of US President Joe Biden after the latter declared that the pandemic is over in his country.
In an interview on Sunday, Biden said that while the COVID-19 response continues in the US, life has more or less returned to normal and that the time has come to declare that the pandemic is over.
Speaking to the press today, President Jokowi opted for a more cautious stance on the matter.
“A pandemic affects all of the nations in the world, and the one who can give a statement, a declaration, that it’s over is the WHO (World Health Organization),” he said.
“We must remain cautious and avoid rushing to declare that the pandemic is over.”
Recent stats show that over 400 Americans die on average from COVID-19 each day. Indonesia has reported a fatality rate in the range of 10 to 30 each day since May.
At any rate, pre-pandemic normalcy has more or less also returned to Indonesia this year, especially with current restrictions on mobility and travel being the most relaxed since the onset of the pandemic.
Unlike neighboring country Malaysia, Indonesia has kept its indoor mask mandate for now, though healthy people are allowed to take their face coverings off outdoors.
It likely won’t be long until Indonesia follows WHO and the rest of the world in treating COVID-19 as a regular disease, especially after the agency last week said that the end of the pandemic is in sight.