Coronavirus Update #45 January 4, 2020
Cumulative number of reported cases: 772,103 (as of January 4)
Rupiah to US$13,903
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6105
Detected Covid-19 cases breached 8,000 for the first time on December 31, 2020. Jakarta’s case load is rising, hospitals are at near capacity, and the governor is considering moving to stricter mobility restrictions.
Indonesia is planning to start vaccinating its population against Covid-19 this month and is seeking to deliver shots to 181.5 million people by March 2022. According to the Ministry of Health, the initial phase of inoculations will target 1.3 million health workers and 17.4 million public workers nationwide during the first quarter of 2021. The health ministry is seeking to begin vaccinations no later than the third week of January following official approval from the food and drug regulator (BPOM).
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said that several COVID-19 vaccines apart from Sinovac’s are scheduled to arrive in Indonesia in the second quarter of 2021. “The government has sent a Letter of Interest (for the vaccines) and is in the process of negotiating,” Hartarto said during an online discussion for Outlook 2021 in Jakarta on Thursday. He said vaccines from Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, and a vaccine from the Covax program are expected to arrive in the country in the second quarter of 2021.
Jakarta’s Governor, Anies Baswedan, has decided to extend the transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for two weeks from 4th to 17th January as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the region.
A team at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta has developed a breathalyzer that can detect COVID assisted by a computer in 80 seconds. The product is called GeNose. In trials with a small population it achieved accuracy similar to a PCR test.
Indonesia closed its borders January 1, 2021 to prevent the entry of foreign nationals in view of the spread of a new coronavirus strain in some parts of the world. The ban also includes the “green lane” between Singapore and Indonesia.
- Oxford Economics Prediction: According to the latest economic outlook from Oxford Economics commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecasted to shrink 2.2% in 2020 but will rebound to 6.0% growth in 2021, driven by increases in consumer and infrastructure spending.
- Inflation Up: Indonesia’s annual inflation rate accelerated for a fourth straight month in December 2020, but remained below the central bank’s target range, data from the country’s statistics bureau (BPS) showed on Monday (01/04). December’s consumer price index rose 1.68% year-on-year (yoy), compared to the 1.61% rate expected in a Reuters poll. Bank Indonesia’s target range for 2020 and 2021 is between 2-4%. On a monthly basis, prices increased 0.45%. The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile food and government-controlled prices, in December was 1.6%.
- Stocks in Red: Indonesian stocks concluded 2020 trading in the red despite large gains recorded in the last months, with the usual celebration toned down due to the raging coronavirus pandemic. However, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto is optimistic that the composite stock price index (IHSG) will break the 7,000 level at the end of 2021 as risk and uncertainty due to the pandemic decline.
- Indonesia buys into Wall Street: Financial firm PT MNC Kapital Indonesia BCAP.JK has acquired a controlling stake in New York-based brokerage Auerbach Grayson & Company, previously owned by Egypt’s Beltone Financial Holding, the Indonesian firm said in a statement on Monday (01/04). MNC Kapital is part of a business group controlled by tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo, an Indonesian politician and business partner of the U.S. President Donald Trump.