Wenny Zulianti

Wenny Zulianti

06
April

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir remains committed to safeguarding the resilience of SOEs in facing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thohir did not dismiss the ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, as it would also affect the performance of the state-owned companies.

"We also need to ensure how to prioritize workers, combine other businesses, prioritize efficiency, and strengthen cash flow," Thohir noted in a statement in Jakarta on Sunday (Apr 5).

The minister had begun finalizing the mapping of business portfolios for all SOEs and its subsidiary businesses.

As an initial step, Thohir streamlined 51 subsidiary businesses from Pertamina, Telkom, and Garuda Indonesia. The minister will continue downsizing while still being heedful of the employees working in it.

Related news: Minister urges SOEs, private companies to compete to advance Indonesia

The Ministry of BUMN has conducted mapping of BUMNs based on business portfolios. Mapping is carried out after taking into account parameters of the economic value of public services.

Thohir remarked that the mapping will define the steps and strategies for the Ministry of SOEs to take a decision on maintaining, transforming, consolidating, or divesting or releasing the company.

The minister is upbeat about the mapping and several efficiency measures undertaken by SOEs helping to safeguard the Indonesian economy against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SOE minister assessed that several countries, including Indonesia, are facing major challenges in the economic sector arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thohir stressed that the government had not stayed silent and made persistent efforts to protect the nation's economy.

The minister pointed to President Joko Widodo’s initiative of issuing several rules in safeguarding the national economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo stressed he would optimize efforts to ensure stability of the rupiah exchange rate against the US dollar, and such steps have drawn praises from the IMF managing director.

06
April

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has made it mandatory for all Indonesians to wear face masks in public to prevent them from transmitting or contracting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

To this end, the government must ensure the availability of face masks to meet the people's demand, he informed cabinet members during a videoconference meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Monday.

"Preparations should be made to ensure the availability of these face masks. They should be provided to the people, as we are keen to see everybody wear face masks in public," he stated while pointing out that the World Health Organization (WHO) too had suggested wearing masks.

In the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak, WHO officials had suggested that those falling ill should necessarily wear face masks. However, the organization has called on all people to wear face masks while venturing outdoors, he explained.


The Indonesian Government’s spokesman for handling COVID-19, Achmad Yurianto, had remarked earlier that the people, at large, could wear homemade cloth masks in public since they could be washed and reused.

"All must wear masks because we do not know whether someone is a coronavirus carrier. Regular people can wear homemade cloth masks, while surgical masks and N95-type ones are only worn by health workers," he stated at a press conference on Sunday.

Yurianto suggested that cloth masks should be washed after being used for four hours by firstly soaking them in a container with soapy water.

The coronavirus pandemic, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, has spread to various parts of Indonesia. Jakarta is the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the country.

As of Sunday, Indonesia had 2,273 confirmed cases, while death toll from COVID-19 was recorded at 198, while 164 patients were discharged from hospitals after doctors declared they had fully recovered.

Taking into account the ongoing threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Jokowi had reiterated the significance of handling the mobility of Indonesians and foreigners arriving in

06
April

National Police Chief General Pol Idham Azis has issued a telegram letter containing guidelines for implementation of the criminal investigation department’s functions pertaining to food availability and distribution processes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The issuance of the police chief's telegram letter was confirmed by Head of the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department Commissioner General Pol. Listyo Sigit Prabowo, who signed the letter, representing the National Police Chief.

"The letter explains the guidelines for fulfilling tasks and handling cases related to food availability and the distribution process during the period to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Commissioner General Pol. Listyo Sigit Prabowo remarked when contacted on Sunday.

The telegram letter number: ST/1099/IV/HUK.7.1./2020, dated April 4, 2020, highlights several types of violations or crimes that may committed in the form of the pricing and stockpiling of goods and parties that may obstruct or inhibit food distribution channels.

The National Police's ranks were called on to identify and map out troublemakers that can potentially commit crimes to exploit the COVID-19 outbreak situation.

Through the telegram letter, National Police Chief Idham Azis has urged his staff to collaborate with stakeholders to ascertain the availability of food and campaign for food availability and distribution.


The Police chief also highlighted efforts to address the scarcity of staples, including sugar, garlic, and onions, by encouraging importers to immediately import and refined sugar factories to produce consumption sugar to overcome the scarcity of the commodity.

Moreover, the National Police is also urged to place escorts to expedite and oversee the distribution of food supplies from warehouses to markets and consumers.

Investigators are also called on to be dynamic and adaptive as a precautionary measure against various complex threats and crimes on social media related to the dissemination of hoax content and expressions of hatred that can affect the public.

The National Police is called on to conduct stringent law enforcement and notify the public of cases that were successfully exposed to serve as a deterrent effect and prevent similar crimes in future.

The Chief of Police's Telegram letter was addressed to the head of National Police's Criminal Investigation Department and all regional police chiefs.

06
April

The Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) has called on the government to increase healthcare capacities in regions outside Jakarta.

IDI chair Daeng M. Faqih said that if the country could not stop the transmission of the coronavirus, the number of COVID-19 patients might overwhelm the healthcare system.

In Indonesia, data shows that COVID-19 positive cases have been increasing by about 100 a day but concerns over slow testing procedures may suggest there are more cases than that recorded.

“It is not too late,” Daeng said over the weekend as reported by tempo.co.

He was responding to research conducted by Katadata Insight Center, which revealed that neighboring provinces of the capital city, namely West Java and Banten, had insufficient healthcare facilities.

The research showed that although Jakarta remained a COVID-19 epicenter, having recorded the highest number of cases in the country with 1,124, half of the nation’s cases—its healthcare facilities were more adequate than other regions. The research also pointed out provinces that were not prone to the novel coronavirus such as West Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan and East Nusa Tenggara, but they too were dealing with inadequate healthcare facilities.

Daeng said the government should use the research as a basis to formulate a policy for regional administrations to reduce the susceptibility of transmissions in Jakarta and increase the healthcare capacities of other regions. “Both need to be done promptly,” he said.

He added that the central government should also make a clear policy for regional administrations on how to increase their medical capacities, such as by allocating more funds, as some regions still relied on the state budget for 80 percent of their regional income.

He also urged the government to be more firm in enforcing large-scale social restrictions and to not rely on people’s willingness to adhere to them. 

In a recent meeting with the House of Representatives, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said the shortage of protective gear and medical workers to administer tests and provide treatment for the disease were impeding the country's efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Our first obstacle [in fighting COVID-19] is obtaining a sufficient number of personal protective equipment, such as hazmat suits and surgical masks. The entire world is experiencing high demand for such equipment,” Terawan said on Thursday, adding that the shortage had also hindered authorities from administering rigorous testing programs to detect the disease earlier and more accurately. (mfp)