Indonesia Corona Virus Update #37 November 9, 2020
|Cumulative number of reported cases: 440,569 (as of November 9 )
Deaths: 14,689 Rupiah to US$14,172
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 5356
Overview-4th Week Active Cases Are Dropping
COVID cases continued to drop for the fourth consecutive week. Daily detections dropped 13% week-on-week. Nationwide, active cases (total cases minus recoveries plus fatalities) are also declining at a rate of 8%. However, these encouraging results are modified somewhat by weakening PCR testing levels. If the level of testing could be elevated to a statistically significant level, authorities would have more confidence in the current trend.
Indonesia plans to vaccinate 9 million people with an experimental vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech. Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said vaccinations “would likely start in the third week of December 2020”. The vaccination drive is separate from Phase 3 clinical trials for Sinovac, taking place in West Java in conjunction with Indonesia’s state-owned biotechnology company Bio Farma.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in the 2020 United States presidential election. “My warmest congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, on your historic election. The huge turnout is a reflection of the hope placed on democracy,” Jokowi said in his tweet on Sunday (11/8).
As a result of the vaccination program mentioned above, Indonesian authorities said the vaccinations will put the country on track to lift restrictions in popular tourist destination Bali in early 2021.
On October 1, 2020, Indonesia issued Reg 26/2020, which relaxes certain criteria for foreign visitors to be able to enter Indonesia: Under Reg 26/2020, visit visa holders and limited stay visa holders are now allowed to enter Indonesia, provided they adhere to strict health measures such as presenting a negative COVID-19 certificate. Foreign visitors must also have sufficient health insurance coverage as well as funding (at least US$10,000) to stay in the country. Visa application is online through the Director General of Immigration.
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· Recession: Indonesia has officially entered its first recession since the 1998 Asian financial crisis as its economy contracts again in the third quarter, albeit at a slower pace, as the government has allowed more economic activities to resume after easing coronavirus restrictions. The economy shrank 3.49 percent on an annual basis in the third quarter, as almost all gross domestic product (GDP) components fell amid the persistent rise in COVID-19 cases, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). However, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told a news conference that the “the worst is over” pointing to a sharp rebound in quarterly GDP in the July-September period. Furthermore, The government has pledged to accelerate spending to push GDP back into growth this quarter, while Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo has said the central bank has further room to act after aggressively cutting interest rates and more than US$ 30 billion of government bond purchases.
· Unemployment at 9 year High: According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia’s open unemployment rate has surged to its highest level since 2011, with the pandemic causing some 2.67 million people to lose their jobs.
· Trade Deal: Indonesia looks to secure a limited trade deal with the U.S after Washington extends its GSP access in October. Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Mahendra Siregar says the potential agreement could double trade value between the countries to US$60 billion in five years. The proposal comes after Washington confirmed Jakarta was still eligible for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status. According to Siregar, while Washington had not yet agreed to a discussion over the trade deal, Jakarta had “received positive signs from the US”. In addition, Muhammad Lutfi, Indonesia’s ambassador to the US, said that Indonesia would prioritize apparel, electronics, rubber, footwear, and furniture in the trade deal. Machines, plastics, automotive spare parts, optical and medical tools, and organic chemicals would also be “strategic products”, he added.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly)