JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi calls for an end to the nationalization of the Covid-19 pandemic, as countries around the world scrambled for a vaccine.
World Bank managing director and former Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu warned that Indonesia will take years to get back on its economic feet, especially if the country’s economy underwent another contraction.
And a man in East Java’s Madura Island faced death in the form of a tornado and lived to tell the tale. Read more on these stories as curated by our editors:
Indonesia’s Top Diplomat Urges End to the Nationalization of Covid-19 Vaccines
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called on countries around the world not to put their nationals interests first in obtaining the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I urge the world’s countries not to nationalize the Covid-19 vaccine, as the pandemic is a humanitarian issue, not a political one,” she said in a press release on Saturday, January 30.
“I hope that using multilateral diplomacy can help distribute the vaccines equally among developing and developed countries, as a more impartial distribution of the vaccine can help the world bounce back more strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
But Retno admitted that challenges remain in achieving equal distribution of the vaccines. “Ensuring the vaccines’ availability will be challenging, as will collaborating with researchers and manufacturers, as are funding,” she noted.
“Ensuring that developed countries are ready for the vaccine will also be a challenge.”
She asserted that she will use her position as co-chair of the COVAX AMC EG to ensure global vaccine supplies by applying the principles of Transparency, Certainty and Solidarity to ensure that they are free, safe and effective for the world’s people.
World Bank: The Indonesian Economy Will Take Years to Get Back to Pre-Covid-19 Levels
World Bank Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships Mari Elka Pangestu has estimated that the Indonesian economy will need a number of years to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Indonesian economy will need three to five years to get back to pre-Covid-19 levels if it contracted annually by two percent. The contraction will also economic growth to slow by at least one percent to four percent annually,” she said on Saturday, January 29.
“The [Covid-19] vaccine is key in hastening the Indonesian economy’s recovery. If we can increase the rate of the Indonesian population that was inoculated [against Covid-19] from 55 percent in 2021 to 70 percent in 2022, then we can jumpstart the economy.”
The former Indonesian Trade Minister warned that “if less than ten percent of the population was vaccinated, then the economy can go into contractions again.
In October 2020, the International Monetary Fund has warned that the Indonesian economy might shrink by 1.5 percent due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Man in East Java’s Madura Island Withstands Tornados and survived
A resident of the East Java island of Madura literally held on for dear life, as he found himself pulled by two tornadoes from opposing directions in the front yard of his house at the Pamekasan regency.
“I was pulled into the eye of one of the storms, even swept up two meters off the ground as the winds carried away the roof of my house,,” said survivor M. Tatang.
“However, I managed to hold on to the wooden banisters of my porch. This decision probably saved my life.” He added that he ran out of his house to escape getting trapped by falling rubble from the tornado. Tatang recalled that the storm only lasted 37 seconds.
“The storm uprooted acacia and other trees. One of them even hit an electric cable, setting it on fire.” The disaster is the second to hit Indonesia after another tornado hit the Gajah Mungkur reservoir in Central Java.
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