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Indonesia president says need to balance health and economy in pandemic

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Markets > Indonesia president says need to balance health and economy in pandemic

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo attends an ASEAN leaders summit with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in Bangkok, Thailand November 3, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

JAKARTA, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Monday in his annual state of the nation speech that there was a need to strike a balance between health and economic interests amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia’s biggest country.

“The pandemic has indeed significantly slowed down our economic growth, but it must not hinder the process of structural reforms of our economy,” the president said in the annual speech to parliament.

Struggling with a jump in infections driven by the Delta variant, Indonesia has become Asia’s epicentre for COVID-19, with hospitals overwhelmed at times and the daily death toll the highest globally and total fatalities topping 100,000.

Jokowi, as the president is known, cited the introduction last…

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