Corona Virus Update #79 September 7, 2021
|Cumulative number of reported cases: 4,133,433(as of September 7)
· Deaths: 136,473
Rupiah to US: 14,195
Covid-19 new cases continue to decline nationwide and have fallen 79% since the July 18 peak. The steepest drops are in Java and West Java with detections now at May levels. More gradual declines are reported from Bali, Yogyakarta, and East Kalimantan with Aceh struggling with high case detections.
Pilot projects for in-person schooling have begun at 600 Jakarta schools and President Widodo told reporters that he expects the program will be expanded during the month of September.
The Health Ministry announced that 100 million jabs have been administered by the goal set by the President of August 31. 18.5% of eligible Indonesians have been vaccinated (2 jabs).
· The government officially extended the enforcement period of the emergency state of public mobility restrictions, known as the PPKM Level 2-4, throughout Java and Bali until September 13, 2021.
· Some notable adjustments are the shopping mall’s operating hours have now been extended to 9PM with dine-in capacity within the mall being 50% with maximum dine-in duration 60 minutes. The government is also piloting 1,000 restaurants outside malls and outlets with indoor dining spaces to be able to operate at 25% capacity in Surabaya, Jakarta, Bandung and Semarang.
· There is a trial opening of 20 tourist attractions in cities with level 3 status, with the implementation of strict health protocols and the implementation of the PeduliLindungi platform. Then, tourist attractions in level 2 districts/cities will also be required to use the PeduliLindungi platform.
· The number of Level 4 (highest social restrictions) districts/cities in Java and Bali dropped from 25 to 11.
· Areas moving from Level 3 to Level 2 increased from 27 to 43 districts/cities.
Borders remained closed to foreign business and tourist travel. Only foreign nationals who are diplomats, holders of temporary or permanent resident cards, cabin crews and those engaged in medical and humanitarian purposes can currently enter Indonesia. US State Department lists Indonesia as Level 4, Do Not Travel.
Indonesia Travel Restriction Details can be found here.
· Foreign Reserves Swell in August: Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves swelled to US$144.8 billion at the end of August 2021 from US$137.3 billion the previous month, Bank Indonesia (BI) has reported. “The position of foreign exchange reserves is equivalent to financing 9.1 months of imports or 8.7 months of imports and servicing the government’s foreign debt, and is above the international adequacy standard of about three months of imports,” BI’s chief executive director of communications, Erwin Haryono, said in a statement released in Jakarta on Tuesday.
· Indonesia-China Currency Cooperation: Bank Indonesia (BI) and the People’s Bank of China (PBC) today began an official cooperation in the settlement of bilateral transactions using local currencies between the two nations. The framework for cooperation includes the use of direct exchange rate quotes, as well as the relaxation of certain regulations in forex transactions between the Indonesian rupiah and Chinese renminbi/yuan.
· Coal to Solar: State-Owned miner PT Bukit Asam plans to build three solar power projects on former mine sites as part of its expansion into renewable energy. The company has set aside land in West Sumatra, South Sumatra and East Kalimantan provinces and at each location the company plans to develop solar plants of up to 200 megawatts. As the world’s biggest thermal coal exporter, Indonesia is aiming to reach a net zero emission by 2060 or sooner. Indonesia is currently benefiting from record high supported by surging demand in China, South Korea and Europe, a statement published by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry showed on Monday.
· Loan Extension Another Year: An extension to the loan-restructuring program for another year is expected to give banks and borrowers more breathing space, as fresh mobility restrictions (PPKM) dim Indonesia’s business recovery outlook. The Financial Services Authority (OJK) announced on Sept. 2 that the end date of the program had been pushed back to March 2023, from the previous date of March 2022, which is itself an extension of the first expiry date of March 2021.
· More Investors in Equities: The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) announced on Thursday that the country welcomed more than 1 million new equity investors in the first eight months of the year, as shown by the number of new single investor identities (SIDs) in the stock market. That is almost twice the 590,658 stock market entrants registered over the whole of last year. The additional investors brought the total number of Indonesian retail equity investors to 2.69 million as of August.
· ASEAN Agreement on E-Commerce: The House of Representatives has approved the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce (AAEC), which is expected to spur e-commerce activity in the fast-growing economic region. During a plenary session in Jakarta on Tuesday, all nine political parties approved the agreement that covers consumer protection, protection of e-commerce platforms, intellectual property rights, competition and cybersecurity, among other issues. “This regulation is a legal umbrella for the e-commerce sector among ASEAN governments to increase trade value and the competitiveness of local businesses and to expand cooperation on e-commerce usage in ASEAN,” said Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate on Tuesday. The bill now moves to the President for signing.
Monitoring the Taliban Regime: The ministry’s director general for Asian, Pacific and African affairs, Abdul Kadir Jailani(formerly Consul General in NY and Ambassador to Canada) suggested that there had to be substantive parameters or practical benchmarks to assess how serious the Taliban are in fulfilling promises. “Inclusivity should be established upon some conditions that should be met by the Taliban. It should come with a clear road map on steps toward a sustainable political settlement pursued through ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned processes’. Appropriate representation of various tribes and political factions should be manifested in such a political settlement,” Kadir said at a recent discussion hosted by the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)