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By Tsarina Maharani in Jakarta

The initiator of the citizen-based reporting coalition Lapor Covid-19 (Report Covid-19), Ahmad Arif, says the Indonesian public is facing the covid-19 pandemic without any clear direction.

There was no data transparency and inadequate information and education on the pandemic, Arif told a media conference.

There was also no clear leadership in confronting the crisis.

“Data transparency and information should be the main key for people’s understanding and response to the epidemic,” Arif said.

“In our view there is no firm or clear leadership in the midst of this multi-disciplinary crisis”, he told the conference titled “Urging an Emergency Response: Prioritising the People’s Safety in the Midst of the Pandemic”, which was organised online last Sunday.

“Moreover when hospitals are almost in a state of collapse like now, we don’t see any sense of crisis being shown by our leaders. It’s like we’re in a war without a commander-in-chief”, he added.

According to Arif, the covid-19 situation in Indonesia was becoming increasingly worrying because of inconsistent government policies over the last 15 months.

Ministry narratives vary
He said that the policy narrative being conveyed by one ministry and the next could vary and often be the complete opposite.

“This situation is a reflection of policy inconsistency on the pandemic by the government. For example, one ministry promotes [social] restrictions and health protocols, but another ministry promotes mobility,” he said.

Arif also said that the government had failed to provide a social security net for people.

“Like it or not, people who do not have the choice to work from home have to keep working outside the home with all of the associated risks,” he said.

Arif said that many people did not believe in covid-19 and did not want to comply with heath protocols. This was also because of the government’s failure to convey a consistent narrative in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.

“The national failure of providing a social security net has forced some people to continue working outside [the home] with all its risks.

“The other factor, which of course exists, is many don’t believe in covid-10 and don’t comply with health protocols, but this is also related to a failure to communicate the risks we face,” he said.

Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Lapor Covid-19: Tak Ada “Sense of Crisis” Pemimpin, Kita seperti Perang Tanpa Panglima”.

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