Coronavirus Update #44 December 28, 2020
Cumulative number of reported cases: 719,219 (as of December 28)
Rupiah to US$14,184
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6093
Indonesia recorded its biggest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths on Friday, Dec. 25th with 258 fatalities, taking the total to 20,847, data by the country’s health ministry showed.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin, who heads the country’s task force for national economic recovery, was appointed as health minister to replace Terawan Agus Putranto. Previously he headed state-owned Bank Mandiri. Even though he isn’t a medical person, he is thought to have the bureaucratic and organizational ability needed to manage a vaccine rollout and testing program better than his predecessor.
According to Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning (PPN) / National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), the government has prepared 275 million doses of vaccine for 2021. In addition, the government has ordered 87 million doses Covid-19 for 2022 from various pharmaceutical companies. Although there has been no official announcements, the government is hoping to be able to start vaccination in January 2021.
Travel- International Lockdown
Indonesia will temporarily close 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. “[We are] Temporarily closing Indonesian borders, from January 1 to 14 of 2021, for foreign nationals from all countries,” Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, said at an online media conference on Monday (12/28). Foreign nationals arriving in Indonesia up to December 31, 2020 may be allowed to enter the country if they show negative results on a PCR test from their point of origin. The test should have been issued a maximum of 48 hours before departure. Visitors will also have to take an additional PCR test on arrival. After the test, they will be required to undergo a five-day isolation and take another PCR test later.
All Indonesian citizens seeking to travel abroad will be required to take similar steps to ensure the health and safety of all people, she said.
- Recovery: According to Indonesia’s Coordinating Economic Minister, Airlangga Hartanto, the country’s economic situation is expected to improve as a result of government recovery plans. “The signs are already here. The [COVID-19] vaccine’s arrival will increase the public’s confidence and sense of security, which should lead them to restarting their activities”.
- US economic assistance for Israeli recognition: Indonesia could receive billions of dollars in additional U.S. financing if it joins the Trump’s administration’s push for Muslim countries to establish relations with Israel, according to a U.S. official. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation could more than double its current $1 billion portfolio if Indonesia develops ties with Israel, DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler said in an interview at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem last week.
- BRI and E-Wallet: Bank Rakyat Indonesia has announced that it received approval from the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and Bank Indonesia (BI) to accept and process Alipay wallet transactions in Indonesia as an acquirer. BRI becomes the first bank in Indonesia to collaborate with mobile and online payment platform Alipay to increase the use of payment methods through the Indonesian Standard Quick Response Code (QRIS) in Indonesia.
- Chinese Enter Heavy Equipment Market: More Chinese products have entered Indonesia’s heavy-equipment market. LiuGong, a leading Chinese heavy equipment manufacturer, entered the market only a few months ago but has already gained 4% of the national market, according to Eddy Rodianto, chief financial officer of publicly listed PT Intraco Penta (INTA). But American, European and Japanese equipment firms such as Caterpillar, Volvo, Hitachi and Komatsu remain the market leaders in the country.