Yakarta, October 25 (DPA/EP) –
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo on Monday defended the opening of a travel corridor between Southeast Asian countries as soon as possible to try to revitalize the economy of the region affected by the economic crisis of the coronavirus.
Marking this Tuesday’s celebration of the new summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Joko stressed that although the strict restrictions imposed by the region’s governments have achieved the goal of dropping new cases of coronavirus, now is the time to make some of them more resilient.
“The economic recovery in ASEAN must be accelerated by revitalizing travel, including safe tourism,” Joko said during his speech at a business forum ahead of the two-day summit that will begin in Brunei on Tuesday.
“With the coronavirus situation increasingly under control, mobility restrictions can be eased,” the Indonesian president said before indicating that this internal corridor should be launched as soon as possible.
On October 14, Indonesia reopened the tourist islands of Bali and the Riau archipelago to visitors from 19 countries, including non-ASEAN members such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Indonesia is gradually easing restrictions imposed to slow the progress of the epidemic after a recent outbreak that put the Asian country’s health system on scrutiny between June and July this year. In recent weeks, daily cases have been less than a thousand. So far, there have been 4.2 million infections and 143,000 deaths.
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