Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) recorded Indonesia’s inflation rate at 0.10 percent in March 2020 (month-on-month), so inflation for the calendar year of March 2020 reached 0.76 percent, while March 2020 annual inflation touched 2.96 percent.

"The figure is below three percent, so I can conclude that inflation in March 2020 was under control," BPS Head Suhariyanto remarked while holding a video press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Inflation occurred due to price hikes, including the prices of food, beverage, and tobacco that went up by 0.10 percent; cost of clothing and footwear that surged by 0.12 percent; housing, water, electricity, and household fuels, by 0.02 percent; and household appliances, equipment, and routine maintenance, by 0.28 percent.

However, deflation was experienced in transportation services, notably by 0.43 percent, and information, communication, and financial services, by 0.09 percent. On the other hand, education services remained unchanged.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) monitored by BPS in 90 cities indicated that 43 cities had experienced inflation, while 47 cities witnessed a deflation.

Lhokseumawe, Aceh Province, clocked the highest inflation rate, at 0.64 percent, mainly due to a sharp surge in the prices of fish and gold.

The highest deflation rate occurred in Timika, Papua Province, at minus 1.91 percent, caused by a plunge in the prices of air tickets, contributing 0.77 percent to the deflation rate. (ANTARA)


Pekanbaru, Riau - Riau Governor Syamsuar has called on the provincial government's health workers to prioritize the administration of rapid test kits on Indonesian migrant workers returning home from Malaysia owing to the neighboring country's lockdown policy.

"I urge the provincial health authority to prepare rapid test kits for 448 people under surveillance in Pekanbaru. They will simultaneously get the tests on Thursday," he noted in a press statement that ANTARA received in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Wednesday.

Governor Syamsuar urged his people to understand the priority given to returning migrant workers since their number tended to increase by the day. Those returning from Malaysia are categorized as people under surveillance.

In addition, several residents of Riau Province returned home from various cities in Java Island, including Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta, which had confirmed COVID-19 cases. They were also to be placed under surveillance, he pointed out.

The Riau Health Office's data, as of Wednesday morning, indicated 16,694 people under surveillance and 115 patients under surveillance, he stated, adding that the results of the rapid tests were expected to be known soon.

Those diagnosed with symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) would immediately be quarantined or hospitalized, Riau Governor Syamsuar remarked.

On Tuesday, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) cautioned that several countries that had been able to flatten the curve of their confirmed COVID-19 cases are currently challenged by imported cases that had overseas travel records.

China, South Korea, and Singapore are among the countries currently facing what he terms as a novel wave of the new coronavirus disease-related threats.

In connection with this problem, the government has reiterated the significance of handling the mobility of Indonesians and foreigners arriving in the country, he said.

"Our priority is, now, not just handling the mobility of our people in Indonesia but also tackling the COVID-19 risks posed by those arriving from overseas trips," he noted, adding that COVID-19 cases were found in 202 countries and territories.

Over this past week, the COVID-19 epicenters had also moved, from mainland China to the United States and several European countries.

Hence, President Jokowi reiterated the significance of strengthening policies on handling the inflows of foreign nationals and Indonesians arriving from overseas travel.

As of Tuesday (March 31), Indonesia had 1,528 confirmed cases of which 81 were discharged from hospitals, while 136 others died of this deadly virus.  (ANTARA)


14 Indonesians Recover from COVID-19 Abroad

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As many as 14 Indonesian nationals who were undergoing treatment in Japan, Spain, Singapore, and the Netherlands after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have made a complete recovery, the Foreign Ministry said.

Nine Indonesians have recovered from the deadly virus in Japan, one in Spain, three in Singapore, and one in the Netherlands, the ministry said in a statement released via its Instagram account (safetravel.kemlu) on Tuesday.

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday (March 31, 2020),133 Indonesian nationals have tested positive for the coronavirus outside the country — 34 in Malaysia, 34 in Singapore, four in Italy, five in Vatican, three in Vietnam, three in the Netherlands, one in Ireland, one in the United Kingdom, two in Qatar, six in Saudi Arabia, two in the United Arab Emirates, 14 in India, two in Cambodia, one in the Philippines, two in Australia, three in Brunei Darussalam, one in Macau, and three in Taiwan. All nine Indonesians who contracted the coronavirus infection in Japan are reported to have recovered, according to the ministry. (ANTARA)



Indonesia will issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) that will boost state spending by up to Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.6 billion) as the budget deficit is anticipated to widen to 5.07 percent of GDP in the nation’s fight against COVID-19.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Tuesday the Perppu would serve as a foundation for the government and banking and financial authorities to carry out “extraordinary measures to ensure the people’s health, safeguard the national economy and financial system stability”.

Of the extra spending, the government will allocate Rp 75 trillion for healthcare spending, Rp 110 trillion for social protection and Rp 70.1 trillion for tax incentives and credit for enterprises. The biggest chunk, Rp 150 trillion, will be set aside for economic recovery programs including credit restructuring and financing for small and medium businesses.

“I have just signed a Perppu on state finance policy and financial system stability,” Jokowi said in a telebriefing. “We will issue the Perppu to anticipate the possibility of a state budget deficit that is estimated to reach 5.07 percent.”

The relaxation of the state budget deficit limit from the current legal limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) will apply for three years until 2022. “Afterwards, we will return to imposing fiscal discipline of below 3 percent of GDP starting 2023,” he added.

Indonesia’s fiscal discipline has been lauded, as the country has never exceeded its self-imposed state budget deficit limit of 3 percent of GDP introduced after the 1998 Asian financial crisis. The move to widen the state budget deficit, the first time in history, comes as Indonesia declared a public health emergency that involves imposing large-scale social restrictions as stipulated in the Health Quarantine Law.

COVID-19 cases in Indonesia reached 1,528 on Tuesday with 136 deaths, just a month after the nation declared it had zero cases. (The Jakarta Post)

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