Indonesia Corona Virus Update #5       April 6, 2020

  • Number of reported cases: 2491 (as of April 6)   202 Deaths  192 Recoveries 

The last 24 hours had the highest number of total cases to date: 181.  18 doctors have perished. President Jokowi has asked the public to don a face mask in public. The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) and many other professional groups voiced their protests to the government about insufficient personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses, and medical workers involved in the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, even threatening a strike if the government does not meet their needs.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani announced that a team for her ministry and several academic institutions estimates that the number of cases will peak at 95,000 in May.

  • Equipment/tests: Reports indicate that Indonesia has taken delivery of test kits and materials for both types of Covid-19 tests. However, the government has not issued definitive data on the numbers of kits and materials received.  Officials also intend to obtain special equipment to accelerate PCR testing. Specifically, because Indonesia is one of the world’s few countries that still records large numbers of tuberculosis (TB) infections, hospitals are relatively well-equipped with devices for examining respiratory tracts for TB. Experts hope that modifying these machines with specialized cartridges will enable their use in detecting Covid-19.  (Reformasi Weekly)

Press reports and comments from the Indonesian Doctor’s Association indicate that the country is running low or may even have exhausted available ventilators.

  • Travel to Indonesia Banned: All travel to Indonesia has been temporarily banned for foreigners.  Exceptions are made for Indonesians and those with work, diplomatic and residency permits. All entrants are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
  • Guidelines for Eid Prayers and Meals/Mudik Confusion: Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi issued guidelines restricted prayer and meal gatherings to just families during Ramadan. Normally large groups gather at mosques and households at the end of each of the 30 fasting days.  Ramadan begins April 23.  

President Jokowi has decided against banning the mass exodus “return to one’s home” (mudik), urging against it instead. However, Indonesia’s Vice-President Ma’ruf Amin is working to persuade The Council of Indonesian Ulamas (MUI) to render a fatwa (legal ruling under Islamic Law) declaring it sinful to make the traditional homecoming (mudik) at the end of the fasting month (Eid).  (MUI has previously only advised against the mudik).  Other voices, such as West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil are calling for a ban on the mudik.   Print and social media has picked up on the different visions.  One headline read “Many official voices, an ever more confused public”.

  • Aid package/Fiscal Deficit to Widen: The government announced a sweeping $24.8 billion aid package. (see Outlook Indonesia #4) and will likely move past its traditionally conservative budget deficit of less than 3% of GDP.
  • Rupiah: 16,556 (as of April 6)
  • Stock Index: JCI (main stock exchange index) rebounded slightly from last week’s low to 4,811.8
  • ADB Predicts 2.5% Growth: The Asian Development Bank predicted 2.5% GDP growth for 2020, mostly due to the COVID-19 virus.
  • Layoffs: The Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency said a total of 162,416 workers have been laid off, put on unpaid forced leave or are working reduced hours affected by the measures by April 4.

   (sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from, Reformasi Weekly)