Indonesia's Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has voiced its support for the government’s plan to reallocate state budgets for providing healthcare, social security, and economic incentives to help the nation deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

“BPK has handed over decision-making regarding budget reallocations to the government in view of the current pandemic," BPK Chairman Agung Firman Sampurna stated in Jakarta on Thursday.

Sampurna said the budget reallocations, which are expected to widen the budget deficit, can be implemented under a new law, including issuance of a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu).

Earlier, the BPK chairman had held a meeting with government officials to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the examination of the 2019 Central Government Financial Report (LKPP) and the Regional Government Financial Report (LKPD), which will be conducted by BPK auditors.

The meeting also discussed revision and implementation of the 2020 budget for healthcare as well as provision of social safety and economic incentives for SMEs to help them cope with the impact of the outbreak.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati had said the government needed to consult the BPK before reallocating state budgets and discuss the possibility of increasing budget deficit to more than 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Minister Indrawati said she hoped that transparency and accountability could be maintained during the consultation to avoid any violations of the law that could harm state finances.  (ANTARA)


Baswedan mulls legal measures to keep Jakartans from leaving city

Governor of DKI Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, at a press conference on Thursday (26/3/2020) in Jakarta (ANTARA)

DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and his task force will explore legal measures to ensure Jakartans remain in the capital city and do not venture out of it to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“We will discuss legal measures that we can take with the task force so that we can implement them on a strong footing,” he said on Thursday in Jakarta.

He explained that the provincial government had long been advising residents to refrain from leaving the capital city in order to keep coronavirus infections from spreading further, however, there were certain jurisdictions regarding limiting public movements.

“In terms of advice, two weeks ago, I have encouraged the public to not return to their hometowns, not to leave Jakarta, in the interest of public health,” he said at a press conference.

The Governor appealed to the people to think of the general public instead of focusing just on themselves.

He had earlier asked Jakartans to postpone trips outside the capital city to contain coronavirus infections. It was stipulated in the DKI Jakarta Governor’s Appeal Number 4 of 2020 on social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The provincial government in Jakarta reported 495 COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths in the city as on March 26. Fifty of the patients testing positive for the infection were medical workers.

Chief of the DKI Jakarta COVID-19 Team, Catur Laswanto, said the city had 1,850 people under surveillance (ODP) and 895 patients undergoing treatment (PDP). (ANTARA)


Though the government has yet to decide whether to ban this year’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus), many Jakarta workers have reportedly returned to their hometowns across Java despite warnings against traveling and public gatherings. As quoted by Jakartapost.com (26/3)  some consider it an opportunity to mudik earlier as business has slowed down or their offices have closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak — even though Idul Fitri is not expected to fall until late May.Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said he had obtained reports from regents and mayors saying the initial homecoming flow from Jakarta had recently entered the province. Ganjar explained in Jepara, 44 buses arrived from Jakarta carrying homecomers. It indeed happened early maybe because the offices and companies where they worked had reduced their working hours or even stopped operating.  while the homecomers’ health has yet to be confirmed, Ganjar hoped they did not cause problems for residents, including students, who had been advised to stay at home//JP


The number of Indonesians testing positive for the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, in Singapore rose to 25 as of Tuesday, with one patient recovering and another dying of the infection. Two of the remaining 23 Indonesian COVID-19 patients are receiving intensive medical care, while the condition of the others is stable. The Singapore Health Ministry announced one Indonesian, identified as the country’s 545th case, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore said in a press statement released on Wednesday.The latest Indonesian to be diagnosed with COVID-19 is a 75-year-old woman holding a long-term pass. The woman, who had a travel history to ASEAN member countries, is related to the 403rd case treated at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). The other Indonesian COVID-19 patients are being treated at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital (MENH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH), Gleneagles Hospital, and Farrer Park Hospital//Ant

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