If you’ve been fully compliant with tightened restrictions, prepare to be practically confined to your home for a further six weeks with the current COVID-19 wave proving to be anything but over.
Local media outlets have reported that the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) protocol, the first phase of which is ending on July 20, may be extended by four to six weeks, as outlined by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani during a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) yesterday.
The minister argued the extension may be a necessity given that Indonesia’s caseload has not decreased in the ongoing phase of Emergency PPKM. In fact, Indonesia recorded its all-time highest daily new infections count of 40,427 just yesterday.
Should Emergency PPKM be extended, Sri Mulyani projected that the country’s GDP growth would have to be revised down to 4-5.4 percent due to expected slowdown in household spending.
Retail associations, which opposed tight restrictions under Emergency PPKM including orders to temporarily close malls, said even more widespread layoffs and business closures in the sector would be unavoidable if the protocol were extended.
The government has been caught between a rock and a hard place all pandemic, and had been reluctant to enforce tight restrictions on public activities for economic reasons. That is, until the country began experiencing the worst of the outbreak starting in June and carrying on into July.
If Emergency PPKM were to be extended after July 20, it would represent a forced necessity for the government to prioritize public health over the economy as the country’s healthcare system collapses amid torrents of new cases and deaths due to COVID-19.
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