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15
July

 

The Indonesian government is immediately about to carry out a third dose of vaccination or booster vaccine aimed at health workers.

Indonesian Health Ministry on its official website ensured the third shot or booster for health workers. It also said there is a study that ensured the third shots will be safe.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the reason to carry out additional vaccination in stages and setting priorities is to look at the situation and condition of the Indonesian state where it is urgent for a booster vaccine to be carried out as soon as possible to protect the health workers as one of the front- lines.Earlier, President Joko Widodo affirmed that the health workers are highly exposed to Covid-19 infection despite being already vaccinated. Facing the infected patients as well as the virus require the health worker to get a booster shot.

Certainly, we support Indonesian government's effort. But, WHO's recommendation about unequal vaccination for all people because of vaccine shortage also needs to be a concern. WHO believed until now, there are countries with vaccination less than 1 percent of their population. The Health Ministry's Vaccination Spokesperson dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi explained that the WHO recommendation is prioritizing the public.

The third shot or booster for health workers aims to increase their immunity as the frontline in handling higher Covid-19 cases. Yet more importantly, the public must realize how important vaccination is without being picky about the vaccine variants. It is considering that all imported vaccines used by Indonesian government have passed the Drugs and Monitoring Agency clinical tests and are registered at the WHO. Therefore, the quality and safety can be guaranteed.

14
July

 

Corona pandemic due to Covid 19 virus affects not only the economic sector but also the political sector. In Central America, Covid-19 attack has triggered a wave of protests in Cuba. Havana, the capital of the communist-leaning nation, was flooded with protesters. Thousands of protesters moved on Sunday, July 12, 2021 as they considered the Cuban government failed to control Covid 19 which has worsened economic life in the country. A news agency report said that during the demonstration the protesters called for President Miguel Diaz to step down from the office. There have been several public demonstrations this year. But Sunday's demonstration was reportedly the largest one, even since 1994.

The government not only called for the demonstration to be stopped, but according to the French news agency AFP as quoted by CNN Indonesia, Cuban police officers detained more than a hundred protesters. One person is reported to have died in the riots as a result of the demonstration. Regarding the demonstrations that caused chaos, President Miguel Dias blamed the United States' policy of carrying out an economic embargo on his country.

As people know that during the Donald Trump administration, Washington reimposed a stricter embargo on Cuba. Previously, under the administration of President Barack Obama had relaxed sanctions on his southern neighbor. Economic sanction in the form of trade embargo has been implemented by the United States since 1962 during the John Kennedy administration. The sanction was imposed to protest the overthrow of President Fulgencio Balista by Communist rebels led by Fidel Castro in an event historically known as the Cuban Revolution.

The demonstration on Sunday, July 14, resulted in the escalation of diplomatic relations with the United States. The Spanish government through its Foreign Ministry has asked Havana to respect the freedom of expression of its people. The stance of the Spanish government was caused by the arrest of a correspondent for a Spanish daily newspaper. The government in Madrid asked the Cuban government to release the correspondent.

Although the Cuban government has tried and quelled public demonstrations, it is still uncertain whether the handling by security forces which is followed by the detention of protesters will end the demonstrations. The stance of the United States, which was expressed by President Joe Bidden by stating that he supports the actions of some Cubans, becomes a political sign that the economic embargo will not end yet. Meanwhile, Covid-19 attack which has caused a decline in the number of foreign tourists to Cuba has worsened the economic situation.

13
July


The daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia are still increasing. Data from the Covid-19 Handling Task Force, covid19.go.id showed that on Monday (12/7), there were 40,327 confirmed positive cases of Covid-19. This figure is the highest number since March 2020. Of course, this number is worrying. This actually happened during the Emergency Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) period. The government of Indonesia has determined that Community Activity Restrictions takes place from July 3 to July 20 in Java and Bali.

The restrictions on community activities have also been tightened. The Provincial Government of Jakarta issued a new policy, namely the Worker Registration Certificate –STRP. This policy is intended for those who still have to work outdoors. The Worker Registration Certificate is also intended for people who have urgent interests to travel. The implementation of this policy reduces the number of those who will enter Jakarta. Only those who have STRP can enter Jakarta. According to the plan, this policy is operational until July 20.

Other steps taken by the Indonesian government are to increase the capacity of self-isolation facilities and hospitals (RS) for handling Covid-19 patients. Quoting the official website of the Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia, Minister of Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono said that since July 10, he has operated the Hajj Dormitory in East Jakarta, as an Emergency Hospital for Covid-19 patients. This emergency hospital will only accommodate Covid-19 patients with mild and moderate symptoms. He also added that in the next week, the Covid-19 hospital will start operating. The place used is 6 floors in the Kiara Pavilion, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta. The government, through Indonesian Armed Forces -TNI, has prepared field hospitals in a number of regions.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Menko Marinves) as well as Deputy Chairperson of the Committee for Handling COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPCPEN), Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan expressed that the government provides 300 thousand packages of free therapeutic drugs for Covid-19 patients. The drug package is for the treatment of patients with asymptomatic categories and mild symptoms who are in self-isolation. Another effort made by the government is processing imports of 40 thousand tons of liquid oxygen and oxygen concentrators in large quantities.

The implementation of restrictions on community activities and worker registration certificates increases the number of self-isolation facilities and hospitals, and the plan to import oxygen is the government's steps to handle and overcome Covid-19. It is hoped that in the next few days, the handling situation will result in an improved situation. The steps that have been taken by the Indonesian government must be supported by all Indonesian people, not only with high awareness, but also concrete actions from the Indonesian people. If neglected and negligent, it will not only increase the number of people exposed, but will affect all aspects of the life of the Indonesian people. Wearing masks, getting used to washing hands and keeping a distance are something non-negotiable and must be carried out by the people of Indonesia. Strict action needs to be taken against those who violate it. The hope to shake off from the Covid-19 pandemic must be realized by all Indonesian people without exception.

12
July

 

The World Bank in the World Bank Country Classifications by Income Level: 2021-2022 reports that Indonesia is back to a lower middle-income country category after being included in the upper middle-income country category in 2019. Indonesia's per capita income fell from US$4,050 in 2019 to US$3,870 in 2020.

According to the Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency of the Ministry of Finance, Febrio Kacaribu, the health crisis has had a profound impact on social life and global economic activity. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about negative economic growth in almost all countries, including Indonesia. That’s why, the decline in Indonesia's income is an unavoidable consequence.

Then, what is the government doing to boost the economy? Amid the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government continues to consistently roll out policies that are focused on efforts to deal with it by strengthening social protection, supporting the business world, including establishing the National Economic Recovery program. Through hard work, the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget and the program, many great benefits have been felt by the community. The National Economic Recovery social protection program is claimed to be effective in maintaining the consumption of the poorest community groups amid the pandemic.

The poverty rate could be controlled to 10.19 percent in September 2020. Without the National Economic Recovery program, the World Bank estimates that Indonesia's poverty rate in 2020 could reach 11.8 percent. This means that the program in 2020 was able to save more than 5 million people from poverty. Furthermore, it is also the engine of economic recovery so that it was able to create 2.61 million new jobs in the period September 2020 to February 2021.

Until now, the pandemic is still ongoing. However, the government continues to work hard and never gives up facing this condition. The increase in daily Covid-19 cases since the end of June was responded quickly with tighter activity restrictions. Acceleration of vaccines, strengthening 3Ts or testing, tracing, and treatment, discipline of health protocols and provision of social protection will continue to be carried out.

Hopefully, the various steps taken by the government to tightly control the pandemic and to recover the economy will raise Indonesia's status back to the category of upper middle-income country. For the record, the classification is usually made by a financial institution or an international donor agency to consider financial assistance facilities for each country.

09
July

 

China doesn't seem to be playing around in its statements regarding its conflict with Taiwan. The Associated Press news agency reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also heads the Central Military Commission, emphasized the need for the People's Liberation Army to increase troop capabilities in the dispute with Taiwan. These concerns are not only active soldiers but also retired military personnel. They are said to be a top priority for military service in times of war. This is stipulated in a draft law change released by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs over the weekend.

Conscription under Chinese law applies to citizens aged 18 to 22. They are required to undergo one-month training in military service but are not required to become professional soldiers afterward. In fact, since 1949 it has practically no longer been implemented because the number of soldiers who voluntarily enlist is considered sufficient. But the question is that how serious the situation is, so that there is a need for a revision of the law requiring veterans to be involved in wartime.

Former instructor of People's Liberation Army, Song Zhongping said that revisions are needed to reflect broader changes in the world and to better prepare China for emergencies.

The country's military must be "ready to respond" to complex and difficult situations when faced with security challenges. Moreover, recently, China's relations with Western countries and its neighbors have deteriorated due to various problems, ranging from territorial claims, the economy to human rights.

08
July

 

Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Russia have been established for a long time, starting from the cooperation with Soviet Union during the post-independence era.  The closeness of the Red Bear with Indonesia at that time has made Indonesia be respected in Asia and the world. At that time, Indonesia received some great support from Soviet Union, namely in infrastructure and military. 

Today, relations between Indonesia and Russia continue. Various collaborations are being improved. To further strengthen the relations, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov made an official visit to Indonesia on Tuesday (6/7).

In a press conference after the meeting, Minister Lavrov said that the visit to Indonesia was to strengthen two countries' relations. He affirmed that both countries will strengthen cooperation in security, technology, trade, investment, and humanism. Economic cooperation will also be increased, following the trade target failure in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno LP Marsuid said that amid the pandemic, Indonesia and Russia are strengthening cooperation in the health sector. Russia has earlier provided support, such as health equipment. In the near future, medicine and Sputnik V vaccine will be shipped to Indonesia.

Minister Retno Marsudi further stated that Indonesian Foods and Drugs Monitoring Agency had visited Russia to observe the production process of Sputnik V. The Sputnik V will be produced in Indonesia for the Mutual Cooperation Gotong Royong vaccination program. She also affirmed that all cooperation to handle the Covid-19 pandemic will comply with the regulation and guidance of the two countries' health authorities and World Health Organization -WHO.

With tight cooperation in the health sector, the Sputnik V production between Indonesia and Russia will accelerate the national vaccination program. Indonesia plans to order 20 million doses of Sputnik V for the program.

07
July

 

After September 11, 2021, the Government of Afghanistan will be tested in maintaining the security situation of its country. Gradually, the United States has begun to withdraw its troops and abandon the Afghan government in resolving the armed conflict with the Taliban. The withdrawal of troops, which was President Biden's decision, was carried out in stages. He emphasized that the entire US military would be withdrawn by September 11, 2021. Even the evacuation of the largest and main military headquarters of the United States and NATO troops in Bagram, might be carried out before the deadline. The Joe Biden administration's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan marked the end of the United States' 20-year war on foreign soil. The longest time ever, even when compared to when they were involved in the war in Vietnam.

After the US and NATO left, the Afghan government must try to solve its internal problems, especially dealing with the Taliban group. Since the withdrawal of the United States troops, the Taliban group has carried out a movement to increase influence by controlling a number of districts, especially in the northern region. Government forces reportedly clashed with Taliban militias while defending the area.

Efforts to resolve the civil war in Afghanistan are actually still open through negotiations, as proclaimed at the meeting in Doha, Qatar last year. The withdrawal of US and NATO troops is one of the Doha deals. Another is dialogues between the two warring parties in Afghanistan.

The question is, how can the Government in Kabul and the Taliban Group negotiate and agree on solution toward a peaceful and better Afghanistan? So far, the goal of the Taliban is to restore Afghanistan as a country based on strict Islamic law. Meanwhile, the government has other principles. Within the Taliban itself there are moderate groups and hard-line groups who may have different views in dealing with state and community affairs.

Therefore, after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, the Afghan people may still have to be patient in hoping for a better situation in their country. It can only be realized when the government in Kabul and the Taliban Group are willing to continue negotiations and find a solution for a peaceful and better Afghanistan. If a consensus is not reached, it is very possible that the situation in the country will be even more deplorable due to political conflicts and prolonged wars.

05
July

 

The increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia, especially in Java and Bali, has resulted in high sales of vitamins by up to 50 percent. Not only that, the need for certain drugs, although never officially declared as an antidote but  widely considered potential in therapy for COVID-19, has also become high. This is apparently used by some business actors to increase the selling price of drugs to the public. Apart from hunting for drugs, there are lots of people fighting over certain supplement products that are claimed to be the cure for covid 19.

In order not to harm the public, the Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin then  set the Highest Retail Price for Drugs During the COVID-19 Pandemic. According to the Minister of Health in his press conference last weekend, it is the highest selling price for drugs in pharmacies and various health facilities that apply throughout Indonesia. However, he emphasized  the public should not be indiscriminate in buying anti-virus medicines which have never been officially declared as Covid 19 medicines.

There are some people who tend to do panic buying actions  even to the black market to hunt for drugs that are claimed to be able to treat or relieve the symptoms of Covid-19.

This is of course worrying,  considering that consuming strong drugs without a doctor's supervision can be dangerou.

In fact, the explosion of worsening pandemic cases in one country or region can be minimized through prevention by discipline in  applying health protocols. Namely wearing masks, washing hands with soap and running water, maintaining distance, staying away from crowds, and limiting mobilization and interaction.

01
July

 

Some countries, including Indonesia are facing an economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. To survive, contributions from all sectors, including sharia economy and finance are necessary in accelerating the national economic recovery. This means sharia economy and finance can be an alternative.

On Tuesday (29/6), Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that sharia economy and finance are not only to accelerate economic recovery but also to support a just and sustainable Indonesian economic growth.

The development of the sharia economy and finance in Indonesia was appreciated by the world. Refinitiv Islamic Finance Development Report 2020 placed Indonesia as the world's 2nd of the Most Developed Countries in Islamic Finance. Meanwhile, Global Islamic Economy Indicator 2020/2021 placed Indonesia as the world's top 4th for sharia economy and 6th for sharia finance.

The world's recognition gave Indonesia great confidence. Indonesian sharia economy and finance will increase further.

This great confidence was supported by the big potential that Indonesia possesses to develop the sharia economy and finance. This potential is shown by several things.

First, Indonesia has 230 million Muslim population. Then, based on the data from Financial Services Authority (OJK) in 2020, the sharia finance industry asset growth was 21.48% into 1,770.32 trillion rupiahs. This is a significant growth and it can be greater if the Muslim population is actively involved in the sharia finance industry.

Second, still from OJK, in 20129, the sharia economic growth was 5.72%. Third, Indonesian halal industry is also improving. In 2020, Indonesian halal industry trade value such as food, cosmetics, medicine, travel, and fashion reached US$3 billion dollars.

To optimize these potentials, it needs innovation and creativity of sharia financial services industry players. Then, technology adoption needs to also go further to follow the ever fast and dynamic developments. Lastly, it will require some skilled and expert human resources in sharia economy and finance to follow all economic and technological dynamics.

02
July

 

On Thursday (1/7), People’s Republic of China celebrated the Chinese Communist Party centenary or 100th anniversary. China's National News Agency, Xinhuanet.com said that for 100 years, the Party formed by Mao Zedong has ushered China into a modern and most advanced socialist country in the 21st century.

However, the achievements are not without black records, such as  the social and economic policies of the government in the 60s, which made millions of people starve and even die. Not to mention the Tiananmen incident in 1989 which caused chaos and claimed many lives.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, while delivering remarks on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, vowed to complete China's reunification with long-standing self-rule Taiwan. According to President Xi, China under his leadership has stepped up efforts to assert sovereignty claims to Taiwan.

He further stated that China has managed to withstand various tests and pressures, such as the war against Covid-19, catastrophic flooding in the central and eastern parts of the country, as well as extreme poverty in rural areas. In addition, there are also in terms of fighting corruption and violations of discipline as well as money politics.

Historically or ideologically, the Chinese Communist Party has proven to be fully responsible for the development of modern China. The vision of reform from Deng Xiaoping's leadership to until Xi Jinping has mastered the bureaucracy, military and other aspects of the life of the Chinese nation. With the centralized democracy model at the age of one hundred years, the Chinese Communist Party has succeeded in making China an economically developed country in the 21st century, defeating the hegemony of the United States and the West throughout the 20th century.

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