Indonesia Corona Virus Update #9 April 27, 2020
Number of reported cases: 9096 (as of April 27) 765 Deaths 1151 Recoveries
- Travel Ban: President Jokowi decided to ban all travel for mudik, the return to one’s hometown during or before the Muslim fasting month (Ramadan). The ban (including commercial flights and rail transportation) runs from April 24-May 23rd. Roadblocks are now in place preventing city dwellers from traveling to the countryside. In a brief statement the President referred to surveys that showed that 24% of the population were planning to leave despite the government’s appeal not to. After learning that enforcement of the ban would begin May 7 airports received an increase in travelers. The President apparently changed from his early softer approach based on a University of Indonesia analysis indicated that Indonesia was on a course (without a full ban) to experience between 500,000 and 2.5 million infections and 12,000 to 240,00 deaths. AICC has expressed concern to the government that employees may have difficulty moving around the archipelago to manage exports.
- Topeng Sehat:
AICC launched a fundraising campaign with University of Indonesia alumni based in the US to purchase and donate critically needed respirator masks for medical workers and personal protective equipment for supplier communities. DONATE NOW
- Flatter Curve:
Although travel and social gathering restrictions and enforcement are toughening the death toll for the past 2 weeks was 187 and 185 respectively. The seven-day moving average death toll has dropped from 34 on April 14 to 22 on April 22. Some critics have question the veracity of the official data (reasons range from bureaucratic efficiency, a concern not to cause panic, lack of testing and misclassification) but analysis of burials using COVID-19 protocols currently supports a flatter rate of transmission and death in Indonesia (more linear than exponential) than other countries. The data could change, however.
- Limited Testing: With more testing not yet widely available, Indonesia has raised the number of suspected infections to 20,000 with 9096 confirmed infections. Newly arrived equipment from China will push up these numbers.
- US Pledges Ventilators: In a “tweet”, President Trump said that in a Friday (4/24) call, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo asked for respiratory equipment “which we will provide,” as well, Trump wrote.
- First Quarter Investment Drops: Foreign investors brought in only Rp 98 trillion ($6.3 billion) in investment from January to March, down 9.2 percent from Rp 108 trillion in the same period last year. A much larger drop is expected in the current quarter.
- Tax Breaks Extended to All Sectors: The government will soon extend a series of tax breaks issued to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic to all sectors, eyeing to inject $2.3 billion into Southeast Asia’s largest economy for the next six months, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Wednesday.
- Jobs Omnibus Bill Postponed:
The Administration and Parliament agreed to put off a key debate on a crucial jobs creation bill that include controversial changes to the 2003 Labor Law. Labor union protests, scheduled for April 30, have been cancelled. They likely would have been curtailed by the authorities in any event due to the ban on large scale social activities. The government is contacting on the bill to help the country capture needed manufacturing investments.
- Tankers to Store Cheap Oil: Taking advantage in the steep decline in oil prices, Indonesia’s state-owned oil company, Pertamina, has positioned 3 previously chartered oil tankers as storage facilities. (Bloomberg)