Corona Virus Update #84 October 12, 2021
Cumulative number of reported cases: 4,229,813 (as of October 12)
- Deaths: 142,763
- Recovered: 4,065,425
- Fatality rate: 3.3%
Rupiah to US: 14,217
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6486
Reserves (US$ Billions): $144.784 (August 31)
Overview-Rate of Vaccination Drops Significantly
Daily case detections dropped yet again – falling by 31 percent week-on-week to 1,343 on October 7 (on the basis of a seven-day moving average or ‘7DMA’). This marks the lowest level since early July 2020. After reaching highs of over 2 million jabs per day the rate of vaccination dropped precipitously to 1.4 million. Explanations for the decline differ by region: some have sufficient supplies but need to be more proactive to distribute them, others (often more rural) still lack sufficient supply. Several regions utilize off-road motorbikes to deliver personnel and vaccines to far flung settlements. After a good period of vaccination frequency it could be that logistics as well as vaccine hesitancy account for the drop.
Beginning October 14th Indonesia will allow international travelers to fly directly to Bali. However, as of today, no international airlines have begun to schedule flights. Most likely the reason for this is the government has been imprecise in its communications. First, is the issue of which countries travelers may fly from (numbers vary from 5 to 18) and second, is the issue of quarantine (8 days or 5). State news agency Antara reported: “Travelers from 18 countries, excluding Singapore, will be allowed to enter Indonesia once international flights to Bali reopen on October 14, 2021, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said.” The list of the 18 countries hasn’t yet been released. Prior to this it was: South Korea, China, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Japan, and New Zealand.
Regarding changing the quarantine duration from 8 to 5 days “The proposed quarantine duration is five days, but this is not a final decision,” Tourism and C:reative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said during a press briefing on Monday.
Presumably by October 14, the messaging will be consistent and unified.
Indonesia Travel Restriction Details can be found here.
· Unreported Debt to China: A team from the US announced that Indonesia’s debt to China may be unreported by a factor of 4. As reported in the Jakarta Post, AidData, an international development research lab based at the College of William & Mary in the United States, notes that rather than being contracted with or formally guaranteed by the central government, the hidden debt has been issued to state-owned enterprises (SOEs), largely to fund projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The report found that Indonesia owes US$17.28 billion in “hidden debt” to China, more than four times its $3.90 billion in reported sovereign debt. A spokesman from the Coordinating Economics Ministry replied that “this was Chinese investment rather than debt. “
· New Revenue: Indonesia expects the new Harmonized Tax Law to raise revenues by 9% in its first year. The law surprised the business community by keeping the corporate rates at 22% even though the 2021 Omnibus Law projected them to fall to 20% by 2025. The new law raised the VAT from 10 to 11%, raises tax on high net worth individuals to 35%, and introduces a carbon tax. The law was passed on October 7th.
· Consumer Confidence Improves: According to Bank Indonesia data, the consumer confidence index improved to 95.5 in September from 77.3 in August due primarily to the relaxation of mobility restrictions.
During a national conference on labor jointly hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Manpower, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Michael F. Kleine congratulated Indonesia for the country’s recent achievements creating a more inclusive workforce for vulnerable groups, including young people, people with disabilities, and women. While Indonesia’s national economy has grown over the past two decades, this development has not been evenly distributed for all members of society. The United States Government through USAID has improved employment conditions for poor and marginalized groups.(US Embassy press release
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)