Indonesia Corona Virus Update #12 May 18, 2020
Number of reported cases: 18,010 (as of May 18) 1191 Deaths 4,324 Recoveries
- Growth in Active Cases: The growth rate in active COVID-19 cases edged up to 21% (week-on-week) from 16% the week before, the highest since April 29, perhaps due to the marked jump in molecular testing. Detections are spreading to more rural districts and towns, with a spike in East Java. Still the growth rate is modest in comparison to other countries.
- “New Normal”: Indonesia began envisioning a return-to-work scenario based on worker age. As Indonesia continues to report hundreds of new COVID-19 cases daily, the government appears to be preparing for a “new normal” by allowing people aged 44 years and below to work outside their homes despite mobility restrictions to contain the epidemic. COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo triggered some criticism after he said last week that the age group in question had a lower fatality rate at 15 percent and was less vulnerable than the elderly. His remarks were interpreted as encouraging all workers under 45 to return, rather than in just those in permitted sectors. Even so, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir issued a circular days later, setting out an example of a “new normal” scenario that entails a plan to allow SOE employees under 45 years of age to return to their offices starting on May 25, albeit with several precautions. Data updated daily by the task force show that people aged 60 and above account for 44.2 percent of the deaths as of Sunday, followed by people aged between 46 and 59 years old at 39.8 percent, while those aged 45 and below make up the remaining 16 percent.
- Jokowi Says No Change to Social (PSBB) Restrictions: “I want to emphasize that there is no relaxation of the PSBB policy, the public should not be mistaken that the government has begun to relax PSBB (enactment), not yet. There is no PSBB relaxation policy,” Jokowi said on Monday, May 18, 2020.
- Domestic Business Travel: Indonesia opened airports last week to enable travel around the archipelago for essential government workers and business personnel and immediately experienced long lines (no social distancing) and delays as airport personnel went through a laborious document checking process. Passengers must bring a “free-from-COVID-19” medical certificate and letters from their agency or business attesting to the essential reason for traveling. Over the weekend airport operator, Angkasa Pura II instituted new rules and procedures, designed to smooth the process which involves 4 checkpoints, to check and verify documents as well as administer a health test. These restrictions will possibly change after the conclusion of Lebaran at the end of May. (Muslim fasting month).
- Exports Drop: Indonesia April 2020 exports were $12.19 billion US dollars (Exports for oil and gas exports fell 6.55 percent and non-oil exports dropped 13.66 percent) – this represents a significant drop of 13.33 percent compared to the previous month which was $14.07 billion.
- Malls to Reopen: After closing for almost two months since the end of March, malls in the Jakarta area are scheduled to reopen on June 8, 2020. The reopening will take effect if there are no unexpected changes.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly)