Editorial

Editorial (461)

10
April

Global uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic are still felt. Almost no country can be sure how and when its territory will be free from it. Only Wuhan, China experienced the peak period of the Covid-19 outbreak and has now declared zero percent of new cases of infection. Even then, there is a big question; is it possible that the covid-19 outbreak may return to attack?

Japan, which was predicted to be able to control the situation without many protocol restrictions, apparently decided to lockdown. Italy, which initially seemed to be able to deal with this virus attack, turned out to be the country with the highest death toll to date.

The United States is one of the countries that is now experiencing a peak of Covid-19 attacks. The number of deaths in New York is even equivalent to the death rate in Italy.

Panic and uncertainty are felt everywhere. The World Health Organization -WHO is expected to be able to control the situation and provide direction so that this global pandemic can be resolved immediately. But in reality not all countries are satisfied with the WHO's performance. US President Donald Trump, take for example, expressed his dissatisfaction to WHO Director General, Tedros Adhonom Gebreyesus. The U.S. even threatened to stop paying contributions to the World Health Organization. WHO is expected to play a greater role in responding to this pandemic. The threat of the United States shows disharmony in a pandemic atmosphere. The U.S. considers WHO as more Chinese centric. There are a number of WHO policy directives which are considered by the United States to be more favorable to China. While most of the WHO funding is said to come from the U.S.

In the current global pandemic, it is natural that on one hand, many countries expect WHO’s greater role. On the other hand, WHO itself hopes that the efforts to save the world from the Covid-19 pandemic are not politicized.

Hopefully, this global anxiety and uncertainty will soon shake off and all countries affected,  along with the WHO, can deal with it and recover immediately.

06
April


Since the Coronavirus Disease 2019 -Covid-19 pandemic has attacked almost all countries in the world, efforts have been made to slow its spread. Each country has different policies in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak. There are some countries that urge their citizens to implement social distancing or physical distancing. There are also others that impose lockdowns. All of which are believed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


How about Indonesia? Recently, several groups of people have urged the central government to impose a lockdown policy. Because, the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia has increased rapidly. However, it seems that the central government does not want to enforce the policy, although several cities in Indonesia have imposed regional quarantine or regional lockdowns to close access in and out of their territory.


Indonesian President Joko Widodo through a video conference on Tuesday (3/31/2020) stated that he was better off choosing Large Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) to face the Covid-19 pandemic. The policy is regulated in Government Regulation (PP) No. 21/2020 signed by President Joko Widodo. The implementing rules were released by the Ministry of Health in the Republic of Indonesia Minister of Health Regulation (Permenkes) No.9 / 2020 on Friday (3/4/2020).


The large-scale social restrictions are the ones on certain activities of residents in one area suspected of being infected with Covid-19 to prevent its spread. This restriction is carried out during the longest incubation period, namely 14 days. If there is still evidence of the spread of new cases, this policy can be extended within 14 days of the case being found last.
 
It’s worth noting closely that the contents of the Health Ministry’s regulation are considered to be more flexible than the lockdown policy. In the large-scale social restrictions despite restrictions on activities in schools and offices, places of worship, public places, public transportation, and socio-cultural activities, residents are still allowed to walk around and leave the house for essentially logical reasons. In contrast, some countries impose lockdown where residents are not allowed to leave the house at all except for buying basic necessities and medicines. Even, some countries also impose fines and criminal penalties for residents who leave the house


The large-scale social restrictions taken by the Indonesian government are appropriate steps to improve community discipline and are expected to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The most important thing is how the Indonesian people remain disciplined to limit activities outside the home and avoid crowded places and maintain health and cleanliness that starts from themselves.

08
April

Finally, Japan declared war on Covid-19. Midnight, Tuesday April 7, 2020. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe decided on Covid-19 national emergency after holding a meeting with all elements of the government. Consideration of the implementation of the national emergency is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which greatly affected Japanese  people and economy. To carry out a national emergency, the central government will cooperate with Governors in the seven existing regions. The enactment of a national emergency is also based on the fact that the COVID 19 Corona pandemic is expanding. As of Sunday (5/4), in total there were more than 3900 cases of Covid-19 in Japan. On Tuesday 7 April, the death toll was 92.

Previously doctors in Tokyo had warned the government that the situation was already critical because hospital capacity to accommodate COVID 19 patients  was running low.

The national emergency will prevent residents from leaving the house and closing down  places of business for a period of about one month. Governors are also entitled to use community facilities for handling patients and those detected as affected by COVID 19. The use of public transportation will not be reduced in number but the volume of passengers is tightly regulated. The government will regulate the distance between one passenger and another in public transportation.

Regarding the national emergency policy adopted by the central government, economic observers in Japan are concerned about the impact. To overcome this, the Government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen, or about 20 percent of gross domestic product.

At last, Japan recognized the impact of the global COVID 19 pandemic. Like other advanced industrial countries, the decision to lockdown or a national emergency would cause a slowdown in economic growth. Japan may not fall into an economic recession, but when the pandemic has passed, the Shinzo Abe Government must strive to revitalize the country's economic growth and maintain the level of welfare of its people.

01
April

Corona virus desease 22019, Covid-19 pandemic in various countries shows different development trends. Apart from the sad news, there is also a happy side. Italy, the country with the third economic power in Europe, is increasingly grieving. As more and more people die, the country's economy is on the verge of recession. Until Tuesday (30/3), it was reported that at least, 11 thousand 590 people had died. This caused the government to declare a period of national mourning by raising the flag at half mast. The Italian government has recorded more than 100 thousand people infected with Covid-19. Therefore, although being expensive and having a severe economic impact, it  was forced to extend lockdown until mid-April.

While other countries are announcing  lockdowns or its  extensions, in Wuhan, China, where the Corona virus was first detected, lockdown will soon be terminated. The government in Wuhan announced the closure or lockdown will end on April 8. After two months of no activity, Wuhan residents will restart their lives as usual. The largest shopping center in Wuhan, the International Plaza, has reportedly begun to open. Even so, employees are  still wearing masks when serving customers, who are disciplined to maintain a distance of one to one and a half meters.

The good news followed the absence of new case reported for the past 6 days. Medical Teams from outside Wuhan gradually returned to their  city or province  with the expression of gratitude  from the residents. Besides Wuhan, Hubei province also noted new optimism. The local government said 4.6 million people could start working on Saturday. The cellphones of residents in both Wuhan and Hubei have shown a green sign which means they are healthy. The lockdown in Wuhan was well prepared. Each resident filled personal data on the Mobile Phone through an application designed by the government. Through the sending of complete data,  the health condition of each person can be detected. Automatically the green signal will light up for the healthy ones and red for the sick or indicated infected residents. Strict regulations followed by population movements monitoring, making lockdown in Wuhan a success.

The good news from Wuhan and Hubei, China, is certainly important information for other governments in the fight against Covid 19. Good planning and data collection, strict implementation of rules and citizens’ discipline, can be one of the references for any country that is still  fighting against the  virus. When other countries are beginning  to struggle, Wuhan and Hubei have started a new life and reorganized their economies, after showing success against Corona. Hopefully the success in  Wuhan, China, can also be followed by other countries.

27
March

With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the hemisphere, there is hardly one country that is not busy to deal with the spread of this new corona virus. Both the government in particular and the community in general have jointly made a concerted effort to risk time, energy and thought. Even more, health workers are even at the forefront of risking their lives. Some of them have also become casualties of the Covid-19 ferocity.

 


Each country keeps a documentary about the heroism of its health workers. However, the story is almost the same. The long process of the heroic story of the health workers always starts with the difficulty of obtaining health protective tool
s. As a result, some of them were also infected with the Covid-9. No country is truly ready for this invisible attack. With the lack of health protective aids for medical personnel who directly deal with positive victims of Covid-19, the number of casualties from the medical personnel is increasing and this is inevitable.

In the multi-crisis situation that is happening in the world nowadays, we do  hope that international institutions such as World Health Organization -WHO are concerned about health issues to pay attention and take special steps regarding the importance of protocols for the availability of the health protective tools  and health workers in the current global crisis. Countries hit by Covid-19 infection should strongly cooperate, take for example, with Wuhan government, China where this invisible enemy originated, given the situation in Wuhan has returned to normal. In addition, the Indonesian government needs to implement what South Korean government has done in dealing with the spread of Covid-19. If the massive spread of the corona virus, Covid-19 can be overcome jointly, surely Indonesia and other countries will get rid of the multidimensional crisis.

 

25
March

 

The Corona virus, Covid-19 pandemic has an impact on various aspects of life and human activities, whether individual and social, local, regional and even international. All countries affected severely limit the movement of their population, and prohibit  mass activities. The world sporting event, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was planned to take place from July 24 to August 9, has to be postponed. Although initially reluctant, Japan as the host of the Olympics and Paralympic sport this time, finally agreed  to postpone the sporting event that had been planned several years ahead.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the postponement of the 2020 Olympics was due to the Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic. However, Japan remained committed to hosting the world biggest sports event. In a joint statement between the Tokyo government and the Olympic organizers, the IOC, it was agreed that the delay would be carried out until the summer of 2021 at the latest. Japan stated that it remained committed to be the host  and requested that the international event remain called Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The postponement of local, regional and international sports activities actually does not only occur with the Olympics and paralympic games 2020. European football match event, the Euro 2020,  was postponed until the summer of 2021. The first session of the Formula One race car, the grand prix in Monaco, was also delayed.

Postponement of large-scale sports activities is reasonable. Because these are  always attended by many people. The Olympics would even be attended by athletes from various countries in the world,  mostly affected by Covid 19. Indeed, sports events other than sports competitions are also an  opportunity where people from various nations meet. But in a situation like today, when the world is threatened by Covid 19, the safety of the athletes and the international community in general is certainly far more important. After all, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was not canceled but postponed. Hopefully the Corona Covid 19 outbreak will soon pass.

18
March

Malaysia’s Lockdown

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Indonesia’s  nearest neighbor, Malaysia, has  taken  an important step to prevent the widespread of the Corona Covid-19 virus. The Malaysian government has officially imposed a national lockdown since Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin announced it  live on state television Radio RTM and Bernama TV. The national lockdown is valid until March 31, 2020.

During this time, all business activities and movements in or out of the country are stopped in order to prevent the wider spread of the Corona Covid-19 virus which had taken many lives. The Malaysian government's decision is based on the 1988 and 1967 Laws on infectious diseases. The lockdown order  is expected to reduce the number of infected people.

With the lockdown  order, the Malaysian government has stopped all business activities except supermarkets and grocery stores that sell basic daily necessities. All government and private buildings are closed. Only government offices and those providing important services may operate. Such as banking, transportation, pharmacies, ports and airports as well as food providers.

During the lockdown period the Government of Malaysia banned its citizens from traveling abroad. Likewise, no foreigners, including tourists, are allowed to enter Malaysia. Malaysians returning from overseas must quarantine themselves for 14 days.

The decision of the Malaysian government is considered appropriate to prevent the growing number of  people infected with Covid-19. Malaysia is indeed known as one of the popular destinations visited by many  foreign tourists. During this time, various tourist attractions in the country have drawn many  visitors. Especially foreign tourists, including from Indonesia and other Asian countries.

Lockdown or restrictions on the movement of people, domestically, as well as  in and out Malaysia, of course, has  its  impact on the country's economy. However, in order to protect its citizens from the catastrophe caused by the Corona virus, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin finally made the decision.

20
March

More than 100 countries in the world reportedly got the Corona Covid19 virus attack. Starting from Wuhan, China,  now the spread of the virus reaches almost the entire world. With a chain effect, the virus is difficult to limit in one place and not spread to other places. Meanwhile, the condition of Wuhan in particular, and China in general, has improved. Although quarantine and other restrictions still apply. The community has begun to appear again in the streets. School and office activities have also begun. China quickly rose after being hit by the Corona virus. Although it is still too early, some residents claimed that they had won against  the COvid 19 virus attack.

When it is the turn of other countries to experience similar attacks, it seems they must learn something  from Wuhan. The city that suddenly became the world's spotlight which took the lockdown step as the most effective way to limit the spread of Corona or Covid19 viruses.

But there are differences in the implementation and support of the people in one country and another. Wuhan residents are known to be compliant with the fixed procedure of handling the virus. Whereas in Italy for example, before the lockdown was put in place, many  people left Milan which is  the center of the virus outbreak, towards the outskirts of the city. Either to evacuate or even think of it as an opportunity for a holiday. As a result, the spread of the virus actually sped up  to various places. Death toll is increasing faster. The call to wash hands and wear face or medical masks that have been promoted by the government and WHO often tends to be ignored. The same thing reportedly also happened in several European countries.

For countries in Asia, Malaysia and the Philippines have decided to impose lockdown at least until the end of this month. This is due to the increasing number of Covid 19 cases found there. How the results and impacts are,   still need to be seen, but at least there have been efforts to break the chain of distribution and reduce the number of cases.

What China has done especially in Wuhan  to rise from the attack of the COvid 19,  is a combination of extraordinary efforts and dedication to resolve the spread  of the virus. Now, each country faces its test.

Indeed, there is no storm that does not pass. However, how many victims must fall due to this virus attack? How long will it take to overcome and get things back to normal? It really depends on the ability and readiness of each country. It seems that the world needs to learn how Wuhan, China dealing  with  it.

16
March

The Government of Indonesia on Saturday [14/3 declared the spread of Corona virus Covid-19 in Indonesia as a national disaster. Corona's Handling Spokesperson, Achmad Urianto said that this was declared in response to a letter from the World Health Organization -WHO asking President Joko Widodo to declare a national emergency against Covid-19.


Director General of WHO, Thedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a letter March 10, 2020 urged countries in the world, especially those with large populations and the ability of the health system to be uneven, to focus on case detection and 
to increase laboratory test capacity.


In areas where Covid-19 is undetected or difficult to detect, WHO recommends applying a national emergency status. WHO also encourages the Indonesian government to keep educating the public and actively informing the spread of Covid-19. The government has also been asked to be more active in finding people with corona virus, tracking people who have been in contact with the sufferers, quarantining and isolating those who have been infected. In addition, WHO also asked President Joko Widodo to add laboratory facilities for checking corona virus cases to detect the emergence of new transmission clusters in Indonesia.


WHO appeals are very reasonable, considering the number of people infected with Covid-19 in Indonesia
 and the  citizens (WNI) who have contracted COVID-19 abroad. Until Sunday morning (3/15/2020), there have been 96 people who are positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia.


To deal with the spread of Covid-19, President Joko Widodo in a press conference on Sunday afternoon [15/3] asked regional heads from the provincial to regency/city level to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency to determine whether conditions in each area categorized as a non-natural disaster emergency response. In addition, the head of state also asked the public to enhance awareness and cooperate so that the handling of Covid-9 can be controlled quickly.

It is obvious that the communities’ involvement in suppressing the spread of the Corona virus is very important. The communities should remain vigilant, maintain personal health and the environment, so that they are not easily transmitted By reducing activities outside the house  that are not too important, it is expected that tje spread of Covid-19 could be reduced.

13
March

When the Corona-virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China, and the country had to isolate, and close the way in and out of Wuhan, the world community had begun to imagine the economic impact that would occur. The threat of recession is predicted to happen not only in China, but also in other countries. This is even more apparent when a virus attack begins to cross and attack several other countries. Italy and South Korea are two countries that also experience the worst effects of corona virus attacks outside China. In fact, Italy must also impose lock down, or close access in and out, just like Wuhan. Another country which has also been declared a heavy attack is Iran. Some of the country's top officials are even declared to have contracted the dangerous virus. Around 100 countries are reported to suffer from the corona-virus attack with quite a number of victims exposed.


Economists were forced to make corrections to their predictions of the global economy. How serious is the impact of the spread of the virus on economic growth? Most believe there is a contraction in the first and second quarter of this year. The peak economic impact is predicted to be still within a few months. Yet with the current conditions, world economists have seen the recession begin to occur in Japan and Italy. Even, Europe as a whole will be hit economically. The longer this pandemic lasts, with dramatic efforts to overcome it, the greater the effect is on the global economy.


China is the hardest-hit country by this outbreak. Throughout February, the country's activities were disrupted and experienced its first economic contraction since the 1970s. Now, the number of corona-virus cases globally has risen above 100,000, and the governments of other countries outside China have announced more restrictions. Economists begin to consider more severe pressures on the global economy. It is estimated that the growth will experience a big surprise in the first half of 2020.


The shadow of the global recession that must be faced by world community will depend on whether the medical scientists are able to find the fastest way to overcome the corona-virus attack. Hopefully, an anti-virus vaccine will soon be discovered in addition to a healthy lifestyle that is expected to slow the spread of the corona-virus.

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