The Chairman of the Task Force for Accelerated Handling of COVID-19, Doni Monardo, has said that people aged below 45 years will be given the opportunity to keep working during the coronavirus pandemic.
The move is a tactic from the government to attempt to suppress the potential for layoffs due to the economic effects of the pandemic. “This age group is not prone to the exposure of the coronavirus because physically, those who are under 45 years old are healthy and have high mobility,” said Doni.
The mortality rate for people who contract COVID-19 for the age group below 45 is only 15 percent, whilst those aged 60 or over have a mortality rate of 45 percent when having COVID-19. The age group of people 46 to 59 years, who have a pre-existing medical condition such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, up to chronic obstructive lung disease, are still being asked to remain at home, regularly wash their hands, use face masks, and keep social distancing.
“If we can protect our brothers and sisters who are part of the vulnerable groups, that means we are able to protect 85 percent of our citizens,” said Doni. He added that the task force is currently composing a scenario to keep people from being exposed to the coronavirus and also not affected by layoffs.
“This is where it takes the hard work of all components of the community to be disciplined and obey the health protocols,” he said.
Previously, the government has recommended people to work from home (WFH). Following the advice, government agencies, as well as private businesses who weren’t included in exemptions, wound down their office activities. After being in place over one month, WFH has minimised the spread of coronavirus, particularly after the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in a number of regions.
The pandemic has had a considerable impact on industrial sectors in various fields, especially due to the need to implement physical distancing. The Ministry of Manpower (Kemenaker) records show that the total number of workers affected by layoffs up to 20th April 2020 was 2.08 million people, with more than half of that number coming from the formal sector.
Employment Minister Ida Fauziyah stated that the number of workers from the formal sector that have lost their jobs was 1.54 million people. In the informal sector, a total of 538 thousand workers face unemployment.
The government has begun to explore ways to ease the implementation of PSBB and the ho to bring in a recovery scheme for economic activities. The Coordinating Minister for Political Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, said economic restoration can be done by easing PSBB regulations.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya announced that several groups were allowed to access public transportation during PSBB. In addition, the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs has been reviewing some schemes to allow for the opening of economic activities starting in June.
One of their studies went viral last week, containing details of several phases of opening up economic activity that would be conducted during June to July and therefore, all economic activities will be able to run normally at the end of July or early August.
Source: CNN Indonesia