Corona Virus Update #85 October 18, 2021
Cumulative number of reported cases: 4,235,384 (as of October 18)
- Deaths: 142,999
- Recovered: 4,075,011
- Fatality rate: 3.3%
Rupiah to US: 14,096
Jakarta Stock Exchange Index: 6658
Reserves (US$ Billions): $146.870 (September 30)
Overview- Down to May 2020 Levels
New COVID case detection dropped 19% week-on-week to their lowest level since May 2020. Cases are only 100 a day in the larger provinces on Java and Several provinces report 0 deaths during the past 3 days: West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara, North Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Aceh, Yogyakarta, Banten, West Nusa Tenggara, South Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Southeast Sulawesi, Jambi, Gorontalo, West Sulawesi, West Papua, and Maluku.
Travel-Bali Open/US Excluded
Indonesia opened its borders (Bali and Riau Islands) for international flights from 12 countries but not the US. It also shortened quarantines from 8 to 5 days. Tourists on such flights are required to quarantine for five days, show evidence of having received at least two vaccine doses, provide a negative PCR test result and have health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment abroad, among other requirements.
The 12 countries allowed (because of low COVID rates) are: are South Korea, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Bahrain, Qatar, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Norway.
With an Indonesian sponsor business travel is now open again. For more information click here.
- Halal Law Implemented: All drugs and cosmetics imported, distributed, and sold in Indonesia must have halal certification from government-appointed agencies starting on Sunday as mandated by recent laws. The government has established the Halal Product Guarantee Agency, or BPJPH, which coordinates with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in implementing a new halal quality regime. “Halal certification mandate for drugs, cosmetics, and worn and utilized products now comes into force as we begin to implement the second stage of the new halal quality regime from Oct. 17, 2021, to the same date of 2026,” Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said in a statement.
- Chinese Rail Project Delayed: The Jakarta-Bandung project has failed to meet its original target of completion in 2019 and has been delayed until 2022. The ongoing work is also experiencing a sharp cost overrun of 23 percent. And more importantly, the project will eventually drain the state budget, directly or indirectly, contradicting the spirit of the project, which is said to follow a business-to-business mechanism. The US$6.07 billion project was a result of Jokowi’s bilateral talks with President Xi soon after the former took office in October 2014. President Jokowi chose China over Japan to build the 142.3-kilometer high-speed railway because China offered a purely business-to-business financing scheme. Even though the state-owned companies involved are limited liability companies (PT) and legally separate, President Jokowi approved a cash injection from the state budget.
- Online Loan Fraud: Since 2019, Indonesia has blocked access to 4,874 online loan accounts spread across Google, PlayStore, YouTube, Instagram, and file sharing. Of that number, 1,856 accounts will be fully closed this year. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo demanded the Financial Services Authority (OJK) issue a moratorium on the issuance of new business licenses for online loans following the rampant emergence of illegal financial technology or fintech companies that offer loans with irrational, high-interest rates.
Myanmar Excluded from ASEAN Meeting: ASEAN on Friday decided to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, who led a Feb. 1 coup, from an upcoming regional meeting, in an unprecedented snub by the bloc. ASEAN will continue to offer humanitarian assistance to Myanmar, said Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. The foreign ministers also said they were in discussion about starting a travel corridor between Indonesia and Malaysia and had agreed to finalize maritime sea borders in southern Malacca and the Sulawesi Sea. They also expressed their joint concerns over Australia obtaining nuclear powered submarines.
Glasgow Climate Change Summit: President Jokowi committed to attending the Glasgow climate-change talks on October 31.