Indonesia Coronavirus Update #21    July 20, 2020

Number of reported cases: 88,214 (as of July 20) 4239 Deaths 46,977 Recoveries
Rupiah to US$ 14,786
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 5051
Overview- COVID 19 Case Growth Continues, Slightly Slower
The COVID-19 pandemic continued its inexorable spread, although the 7-day moving average of daily confirmed cases fell slightly from the previous period. Trends in most provinces slowed or flattened, raising hopes, but the trend could easily reverse.
Indonesia has surpassed China in its total number of COVID-19 cases, after recording 1,752 new infections on Saturday. The new tally for Indonesia is 84,882 as of Saturday afternoon, while China reported 22 new cases to bring its total to 83,644, according to data from the country’s National Health Commission. The Health Ministry announced 127 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, the highest one-day death toll so far. The previous highest daily toll was recorded on July 15, when 87 people were reported to have died of the virus.
East Java reported the highest toll on Sunday with 52 deaths, bringing the number of COVID-19 deaths in the region to 1,401 and consequently President Jokowi ordered the Health Minister to relocate himself part time to Surabaya, the region’s epicenter.
Following the example of West Java Governor, Ridwan Kamil, President Jokowi is reported to be considering issuing a Presidential Instruction mandating wearing face masks in public
QR Codes: The Director General of Immigration, Jhoni Ginting, proposed the mandatory attachment of QR codes to the passports of all foreigners entering Indonesia as a means of tracking their movements. The “big brother” plan would envision that passports would be scanned for many transactions, giving authorities the ability to provide information on a “person of interest” down to the neighborhood level.  The recent arrest of a suspected pedophile and Ponzy scheme operator from the US apparently prompted Ginting to issue his statement.  Given that the opening of the devastated tourism and business travel sector is slated for September, the idea will undoubtedly receive push back, not only on these grounds but others as well.
  • Bank Indonesia Drops Rate: BI lowered its “prime rate” 25 basis points to 4.0%. The rate began 2020 at 5%. Low inflation and economic stimulation were listed as the reason for the move.
  • Merging of Recovery Efforts: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed a presidential regulation on COVID-19 mitigation and national economic recovery on Monday, bringing the two disparate divisions under a single umbrella: Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Erick Thohir. The move is expected to streamline bureaucratic procedures related to the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn resulting from the health crisis.
  • AID Distribution: A lack of reliable data has caused delays in the distribution of government social assistance to eligible recipients, as poverty rises amid the unfolding health crisis, a study has found. Only 34% of allocated funds have been disbursed and in a survey of 5 cities, 20% of aid recipients should not have been eligible.
  • U-Shape Recovery: Bank Indonesia (BI) has forecast a U-shaped recovery for the country’s economy as the coronavirus pandemic took a greater toll than previously expected, threatening to cause a deep contraction in the second quarter. Indonesia‘s economy could shrink between 4 and 4.8 percent in this year’s second quarter, BI senior deputy governor Destry Damayanti said on Monday, adding that the recovery would be slower than expected as COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the country.
  • June Trade Surplus: According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia’s export-import performance is starting to tick up. This is reflected in the June trade balance which shows a surplus of USD 1.26 billion.
  • Nickel Monitoring: The government recently formed a task force to monitor the sale and purchase of nickel. The Task Force – consisting of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Industry, and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), is scheduled to start operation next month.
  • World Bank Report: In its quarterly report the bank praised Indonesia’s social welfare programs for not allowing the pandemic to worsen poverty. While the bank believes that the proposed Omnibus Bill ON Job Creation has certain worthwhile features, it is concerned about the effect of loosening environmental standards as a means of speeding up projects, whereas other bureaucratic deficits were more important to correct.  The report warns of deteriorating asset quality in the banking system. It projects growth to rise to 6% in 2022, with 0% in 2020.
  • President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has recently issued a regulation stipulating that the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) will work directly under the President in a bid to streamline intelligence reporting, officials have said.
  • A one star general who had signed a travel document for fugitive Djoko Tjandra (convicted of embezzlement in the 1999 Bank Bali scandal) was sacked and detained by police.
  • President Jokowi officially disbanded 18 State Institutions which include:
1.   Extractive Industries Transparency Team
2.    National Coordinating Agency for Agricultural Extension, Fisheries and Forestry
3.    The Committee for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development 2011-2025
4.    The Sunda Strait Strategic Area and Infrastructure Development Agency
5.    The National Coordinating Team for Mangrove Ecosystem Management
6.    The Agency for the Improvement of Drinking Water Supply System
7.    Steering Committee for Road Map e-Commerce National System 2017—2019
8.    Task Force for the Acceleration of Business Conduct
9.    The Monitoring and Evaluation Coordination Team for the Provision of Guarantees and Subsidies of Interest to PDAMs in the Context of Accelerating Drinking Water Supply
10. Overseas Commercial Loans Team
11. The National Team for Multilateral Trade Negotiations in the Framework of the World Trade Organization
12. PLN Restructuring and Rehabilitation Team
13. Financial Sector Policy Committee
14. Interdepartmental Committee on Forestry
15. Coordination Team for the Improvement of the Flow of Export and Import Goods
16. National Team for Increasing Exports and Increasing Investment
17. The Coordinating Team for the Acceleration of Flats Construction in Urban Areas
18. National Committee for the Preparation of the Implementation of the Economic Community Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from, Reformasi Weekly)