Corona Virus #74 August 2, 2021
|Cumulative number of reported cases: 3,462,800 (as of August 2)
· Deaths: 97,291
Rupiah to US: 14,456
Although reported case detections have remained on a plateau during the past week commentators from the Gates Foundation and other organizations believe Indonesia’s official COVID numbers are underreported, perhaps by a factor of 10. Nationwide official detections were down 3% and 40% in Jakarta but remain high: over 40,000 new cases a day. Jakarta’s daily case detections are currently approximately 50% below its mid-July high when there was not just a resurgence, but also a doubling of testing from June levels.
Indonesia now accounts for 20% of worldwide daily COVID-related fatalities.
The Indonesian government extended the existing multi-tiered public activity restrictions (PPKM) until Aug. 9, amid signs the program was contributing to the decline in case numbers and helped ease pressure on hospitals. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the decision came after policymakers had seen “nationwide improvements” from the current restrictions, with daily COVID-19 cases trending downward and the bed occupancy rate (BOR) in hospitals declining in several regions.
Level 4 restrictions are in place in regencies or cities with more than 150 confirmed cases per 100,000 people per week, a hospitalization rate of more than 30 patients per 100,000 people per week and a mortality rate of more than five deaths per 100,000 people per week. Areas with a positivity rate over 15 percent, a BOR over 80 percent and with tracing capabilities of less than 5 people per COVID-19 case also qualify for level 4 curbs.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Health has announced that the government will have sufficient supply until mid of August to administer 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. “Currently, we have 50 million doses comprising 10 million doses of AstraZeneca and the rest are Sinovac vaccines which are still being processed into ready-to-use ones. [The vaccines] will be enough until mid-August,” the ministry’s Covid-19 vaccine spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi told Kompas.com on Tuesday, July 27. She said that in total the government has received 127.9 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so far.
· New vaccine supplies: 21 million doses from China (Sinovac) arrived July 27. 600,000 Astra Zeneca will arrive from the UK.
· Children: The government will now begin vaccinated teenagers (12-17) and has increased its target population by 27 million.
· Global Task Force on Pandemic Response: This group of over 30 CEO’s from America’s largest companies, that initialized mobilized medical supplies for India in May, met last week with White House representatives as well as AICC Chairman Cameron Hume and President Wayne Forrest—as well as leaders of other business organizations– to begin planning a similar effort with Indonesia. In the days ahead we will share more information on how individual companies can contribute to the effort. During the presentation a representative from the Gates Foundation shared data very similar to what this weekly memo presents. However, epidemiologist Padmini Srikantiah said that since less than 10% of Indonesians had been vaccinated the dangerous Delta or newer variant could surge again. She also believes Indonesia’s need may be greater than India’s and that COVID detections were underreported.
Travel-Indonesia Shuts Its Borders
On July 23 Indonesia closed its borders to travelers with the following exceptions:
· KITAS/KITAB (work and residency permit) holders
· Diplomat and official visa/residency permit holders
· Humanitarian/medical/scientific missions
· Transport/cabin crews on arriving vessels and planes
Coming quickly after a recent policy change mandating vaccine cards and a longer, 8 day quarantines, some commentators opined that the border closing was a response to criticism over the presence of Chinese workers at construction projects across the country.
The announced canges did not include any information on when they would be lifted. Revisions would likely occur as the current pandemic wave subsides further.
Updated Travel Restrictions for Airplane Passengers Traveling within Indonesia during PPKM Level 4
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.
· IMF Revises Outlook: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised down this year’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Indonesia to 3.9 percent as the country grapples with the Delta COVID-19 variant outbreak amid a low vaccination rate. The revision is 0.4 percentage points lower than the growth forecast outlined in the IMF’s April outlook. The downward revision is in line with that of the government, which downgraded its GDP growth forecast to between 3.7 and 4.5 percent from between 4.5 and 5.3 percent for this year.
· Manufacturing Stutters: Containment measures enforced by the government last month in response to an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections have dampened production and demand and sent manufacturing sector growth back into negative territory, the latest IHS Markit survey shows. The IHS Markit Indonesia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 40.1 in July, well below the 50-point mark signifying the threshold between expansion and contraction, in what is thought to be a result of the coronavirus resurgence that compelled the government to restrict travel and business activities. July’s reading marks a stark decline from 53.5 in June and signals the first contraction for the country’s manufacturing sector in nine months. The rate of decline was the fastest since June 2020, IHS Markit stated in a press release published on Monday.
Foreign Affairs-Level 4 Travel Alert
US Embassy July 26th Travel Alert: “The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta continues to monitor the rapidly changing conditions due to COVID-19 in Indonesia and in other locations worldwide. Travel to and within Indonesia is highly discouraged at this time. The most current information regarding the impact of COVID-19 may be found at our COVID Information Page.” This is a Level 4 State Department Travel Alert, its highest. US Embassy July 26th Travel Alert: “The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta continues to monitor the rapidly changing conditions due to COVID-19 in Indonesia and in other locations worldwide. Travel to and within Indonesia is highly discouraged at this time. The most current information regarding the impact of COVID-19 may be found at our COVID Information Page.” This is a Level 4 State Department Travel Alert, its highest. Alert: COVID-19 Travel Update U.S. Embassy Jakarta | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia (usembassy.gov)
Indonesia Pushes Back on Possible EU Carbon Tax: The European Union’s plan to impose a carbon border tax on imports could disrupt global trade, according to Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi. The EU introduced this month the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to meet its emissions reduction target by 2050 and address what the bloc calls “carbon leakage”, or “the situation that may occur if, for reasons of costs related to climate policies, businesses were to transfer production to other countries with laxer emission constraints” according to the published definition of the European Commission. The carbon tariff on imported goods is to start from 2026, first applied to cement, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizer and electricity.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)