Corona Virus Update #94, December 20, 2021
Cumulative number of reported cases: 4,260,677 (as of December 20)
- Deaths: 144,013
- Fatality rate: 3.3%
Rupiah to US: 14,384
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6547
Reserves (US$ Billions): $145.858 (November 30)
Overview- Omicron Arrives
Indonesia is reporting three confirmed cases of Omicron after genome-sequencing of 5 recent arrivals. The individuals with the Omicron variant, now quarantined at a government facility, had returned from South Africa and United Kingdom. The third case is a worker at the facility. “Authorities were able to flag the five suspected cases and the first confirmed case using a specific type polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can detect the S-gene target failure (SGTF), which is one of the identifiers of the Omicron mutations”. (Jakarta Post)
Despite Omicron’s entry, overall case detections continue to drop on a seven-day moving average. Daily fatalities are hovering around 10.
South Africa’s experience suggests that Indonesia could experience a large new wave of infections and re-infections, with serious cases only a tiny fraction, based on both countries having a relatively young population.
An unknown at this point is how much protection Sinovac- administered to 80% of Indonesians- provides against Omicron.
Travel- New Country-Specific Bans
The Indonesian government has added more countries to its entry ban list after the first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was detected in Jakarta. People from the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway are now barred from crossing Indonesia’s borders.
“Currently there are 11 countries on the no-entry list. Based on the development of Omicron, the government has added the UK, Norway, and Denmark, and removed Hong Kong from the list,” said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
In addition to the 3 European nations, Indonesia prohibits foreign nationals who in the last 14 days have traveled to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola, Zambia. Luhut said the government would conduct monitoring every week. It is possible that the list will grow, and more nations could be included, depending on how situations concerning the Omicron variant develop.
Meanwhile, Indonesian nationals returning from the listed countries are mandated to undergo 14 days of quarantine.
President Joko Widodo urged the public to refrain from international travel.
Updated Travel Restrictions for Airplane Passengers Traveling within Indonesia during PPKM
These restrictions apply to flights between airports on the island of Java, flights from/or to airports on the island of Java, and flights from/or to airports on the island of Bali.
· The documents below are required and to be presented (digital copies available using PeduliLindungi App for Indonesian citizens) during check-in at airports:
· Vaccine certificate/card, minimum of first dose.
· Certificate or letter of negative RT-PCR results whose samples were taken within a maximum period of 2×24 hours before the departure.
· Indonesia Health Alert Card (e-HAC) for all passengers (Indonesians and non-Indonesians)
Indonesia Travel Restriction Details can be found here.
Foreign Affairs- Slow Progress on Trade Deals
The government has urged lawmakers to swiftly pass three trade agreements, arguing that prolonging their ratification would lose the country’s momentum in trade policies and economic recovery. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for Asia-Pacific countries, the Indonesia-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA) and the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) are the three backlogged deals awaiting lawmakers’ approval. Trade Minister M. Lutfi said on Monday that the RCEP was the most urgent among the three, since it would take effect on Jan. 1, with the 12 partnering countries expected to have ratified the deal before the year-end. Meanwhile, Indonesia was the only member yet to ratify the deal, despite signing it in November 2020 and its role in initiating and chairing the negotiations.(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)