Ani Hasanah

Ani Hasanah

01
April

Jakarta (VOI News) - 

The Government of Indonesia through the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Jeddah has tried many efforts to protect Indonesian citizens in Jeddah amid quarantine steps taken by the Saudi Arabian government in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

This was revealed by the Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah Eko Hartono to Voice of Indonesia via telephone on Monday (30/03).

Eko Hartono said a number of Indonesian citizens in Jeddah felt the direct impact of the Saudi Arabian government policy. One of those affected is Indonesian citizens who work in Saudi Arabia and rely on daily salary income.

“What we are really worried about is that they are primarily our Indonesian Migrant Workers who are daily workers. This is our concern. Those who have to depend their lives on this poor daily work, for example a driver. Now, drivers can't work, and so can taxi drivers, bus drivers. They all become our concern. There are 168 something legal igrant workers in Jeddah, while the number of the illegal one is almost three folds, around 500 or 600 thousand. Well we are not sure about the faith of the illegal workers,” Eko Hartono said.

As of Monday, there were 1453 positive cases of Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia. Of these, 8 people died, while 115 others were cured.

The Saudi Arabian government had previously imposed the closure of a number of crowd points in order to reduce mass build-up in an area. The Saudi Arabian government has even imposed a curfew from 15 to 6 so that the spread of Covid-19 can be suppressed. (VOI/Ndy/AHM)

01
April

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)

01
April

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)

01
April

U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held out the possibility on Tuesday that the United States may consider easing sanctions on Iran and other nations to help fight the coronavirus epidemic but gave no concrete sign it plans to do so. The comments reflected a shift in tone by the U.S. State Department, which has come under withering criticism for its hard line toward sanctions relief even in the face of a call by the U.N. secretary-general to ease U.S. economic penalties.

Pompeo stressed that humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after President Donald Trump abandoned Iran’s 2015 multilateral deal to limit its nuclear program.

However, broader U.S. sanctions deter many firms from humanitarian trade with Iran, one of the nations hardest hit by the coronavirus epidemic.

Asked if there might come a point at which Washington might reevaluate its stance on easing sanctions, Pompeo told reporters: “We evaluate all of our policies constantly, so the answer is - would we ever rethink? - Of course.”

Asked about such relief on March 20, Pompeo simply said U.S. sanctions do not apply to medical and other humanitarian goods.

Washington is pursuing a “maximum pressure” policy to try to force Tehran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities.

Iran has accused the United States of “medical terror,” prompting Pompeo’s spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, on Monday to tweet: “Stop lying. ... It’s not the sanctions. It’s the regime.”

France, Germany and Britain have exported medical goods to Iran in the first transaction under a trade mechanism set up to barter humanitarian goods and food, Germany said.

Jon Alterman, a Middle East analyst at Washington’s CSIS think tank, said Pompeo’s shift in tone might be a response to the European move.

“There is an Iranian effort to peel off Europe ... Holding open the possibility of reconsidering is an effort to keep Europe on side,” he added, though he saw little chance of a U.S. policy shift. “In the current environment, the chances are very low, but the environment keeps changing.”

Pompeo has been sharply criticized for the administration’s stance on Iran sanctions. In recent weeks, the United States has repeatedly tightened sanctions on Iran, notably seeking to make it harder for it to export oil. (REUTERS)