TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has lauded the innovative products developed by Indonesians in the health sector with the spirit of “gotong royong” (mutual help) to aid the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are grateful that there have been various innovations by Indonesians to create various products in the health field that we had previously imported (in) plenty,” Jokowi said at the opening of the Extraordinary Congress of Gerindra Party, held online on Saturday.
The conditions under the pandemic have indeed been difficult, however, the difficulty has fostered a spirit of mutual help, cooperation, and sharing of burdens among various elements of the society, he noted.
Jokowi said no country was ready to face such a crisis. More than 18 million people have been infected with COVID-19 globally and the death toll has reached 696,000 so far.
In addition, the economic growth in various countries has also experienced a deep contraction.
Some of the figures have been quite grave, including those for France (minus 19 percent), India (minus 18.9 percent), Britain (minus 17.9 percent), and the European Union (minus 14.4 percent), Jokowi said.
He also cited IMF’s prediction that the global economy is facing its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of 1930.
However, Jokowi urged the Indonesian people to keep their hopes up that the Indonesian nation would be able to deal with the challenges created by COVID-19 by itself.
This is because the Indonesian nation is a nation of fighters, he said.
“This fighting spirit is what we must continue to promote in facing this very, very difficult situation,” he remarked.
Gerindra Party was founded by Prabowo Subianto, the current Defense Minister, in February, 2008.
Subianto ran against Jokowi during the presidential elections in 2014 and 2019, but lost in both of them. Jokowi belongs to the ruling PDIP.
Nearly all political parties, including Gerindra, have currently joined the coalition of the Jokowi administration, except PKS (Justice Prosperous Party) which has remained in the opposition.
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