Along with our Indonesian colleagues, family members, neighbors, and friends, AmCham Indonesia has watched with rising alarm as the Covid-19 case numbers in recent weeks have climbed inexorably higher, with no apparent end in sight. The images of people searching for hospital beds and treatment are heartbreaking.
We were struck that on the very day when the government announced firmer measures to deal with the pandemic, the number of new cases reached a record of 24,836, a figure that is almost certainly much higher given the difficulties in testing capacity in Indonesia. It is time to face the reality of this crisis with resolve.
That is why we are adding our voice in support of the new emergency community activity restrictions, or PPKM Darurat, introduced today, July 1. As a business chamber representing American companies who collectively invest billions of dollars here annually and employ tens of thousands of Indonesians, we applaud President Joko Widodo’s brave action.
We are business people ourselves and we recognize there will be economic pain as a result of the restrictions. But we firmly believe that without tough measures to deal with this resurgent wave of the virus, the humanitarian disaster that could unfold will do massive damage to Indonesia’s future. Now is the time to face the short-term discomfort as we wait for more vaccine capacity and a manageable virus trajectory. In this regard, we also encourage the international community to work together to release as many vaccine doses as possible to assist Indonesia and other countries similarly stricken.
Now is not the time to argue over details. Lockdowns have been shown to save lives, including in Indonesia, and we only hope that these new measures will be enforced robustly and continue as long as necessary to get the numbers under control. We are proud to offer our support to your efforts, Mr. President. We are on your side as we fight this peril together.