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Dr Richard Dang, assistant professor USC School of Pharmacy administers COVID-19 vaccine to Ashley Van Dyke (left) as mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, US, Jan 15, 2021. (Photo: Irfan Khan/Pool via REUTERS)


Scattered shortages of COVID-19 vaccines persisted on Saturday (Jan 16) under pressure from growing demand, as previously inoculated Americans returned for their required second shots and millions of newly eligible people scrambled to get their first. The supply gaps, coming as the US vaccination effort enters its second month, prompted some healthcare systems to suspend appointments for first-time vaccine seekers and one New York healthcare system to cancel a slew of existing ones.

"As eligibility increases, you just increase demand, but we're not able to increase supply," Northwell Health spokesman Joe Kemp told Reuters by telephone.

Northwell, New York's largest healthcare provider, offers appointments only as it gets more vaccines, and only after allocating doses to people scheduled for their second shots, Kemp said.

Although the supply flow has been sporadic, Northwell expects to offer appointments in the coming week, he added.

Both approved vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech and the other from Moderna, require a booster three to four weeks after the first shot to maximise their effectiveness against the coronavirus.

While healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff got first priority, eligibility for the vaccines has since widened, with some states opening it to healthy people aged 65 and up and people of any age with pre-existing conditions.

Besides New York, signs of vaccine supply strains appeared in Vermont, Michigan, South Carolina, New Jersey and Oregon.

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown said vaccinations for seniors and educators would be delayed, while Vermont Governor Phil Scott said the state would focus exclusively on its over-75 population because of "unpredictable” federal supplies//CNA


Flooding in Wih Ni Durin Village, Bener Meriah District, Aceh Province, Jan 16, 2021


Flash floods and a landslide damaged seven homes and broke a bridge in Wih Ni Durin Village, Syiah Utama Sub-district, Bener Meriah District, Aceh Province , following incessant heavy rains in Gayo highland area.

"Flash floods were triggered by high rainfall in Bener Meriah District area. Wih Ni Durin River spilled over its bank,," Ilyas, Head of Aceh Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBA) said in a statement here on Saturday night.

di Gampong Umah, Kecamatan Gajah Putih dan Gampong Tembolon, Kecamatan Syiah Utama, Kabupaten Bener Meriah.

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The flood current carried mud, rocks and tree trunks from mountains, he added."One bridge collapsed, two houses were severely damaged, while five other houses were slightly damaged by the flash floods," he noted.

There were no reports of casualties in the flash floods and landslide .

"Currently, the flood waters have receded, but the seven houses buried under the mud have not been cleaned," he said.

Last December, floods inundated 94 villages in 24 sub-district, North Aceh District, Aceh Province. "Floods damaged 239 homes, 33 roads and bridges, and 20 river embankments. As many as 2,219 hectares of rice fields, 8,340 hectares of fish ponds, and 408 hectares of plantations were inundated. The flooding also killed 101 cows, 155 goats, and 988 chickens and ducks," Sunawardi of the Aceh BPBD, said on December 18, 2020//ANT


Indonesian Tourism and creative economy Minister Sandiaga Uno inspecting homestay in Gerupuk Village, Lombok - kemenparekraf

During a working visit to Lombok, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy / Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, reviewed the readiness of amenities in the form of a homestay located in Gerupuk Tourism Village, Central Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). This is done to prepare all aspects of tourism and the creative economy ahead of the Mandalika MotoGP event which is planned to be held in October this year. Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno, when visiting the Homestay Area in Gerupuk Tourism Village, in Lombok, Saturday (16/1/2021), said that homestay in Gerupuk Tourism Village is one of the equitable infrastructure developments, because this program provides self-help housing facilities, the construction of which involves community development.

"Today is extraordinary because this is a just infrastructure development because we are carrying out a government program to provide self-subsistent (swadaya) housing facilities so this is a collaboration between the government and the community. So the community together with the government presents a tourism facility which in my opinion has a good standard and we promise before the MotoGP we will stay one night at this homestay. This has really empowered the community, opened job opportunities because every house besides the owner there are 4-5 people who also get jobs" The Minister said. 

Menparekraf Sandiaga added that this homestay is targeting new middle class millennials who want to enjoy the beauty of Mandalika, but do not have sufficient budget for five-star lodging. With the price for one room of IDR 250,000 / night including breakfast, wifi and electricity, Sandiaga feels that this price is quite affordable. The homestay program is a self-subsistent Housing Stimulant Assistance (BSPS) program from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (KemenPUPR) or commonly known as the house renovation program. In 2020 this program will be increased to support the tourism sector and creative economy in Lombok, NTB, which is one of the 5 Super Priority Destinations (DSP) set by President Joko Widodo//NK




The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is targeting an investment of US$5.98 billion in the mineral and coal sub-sector in 2021.

"In 2021, we target investment of close to US$6 billion. This is a big task that we have to bear in an attempt to recover the economy," the ministry's director general of mineral and coal, Ridwan Djamaluddin, said here on Friday.

The investment target for 2021 is lower than the previous year's target of US$7.7 billion, he added. The realization of investment in the sub-sector in 2020 reached just US$4 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he informed.

Among the factors that hindered target realization were difficulties in operation and limited mobilization of personnel on account of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB), he noted.In an effort to reach this year's investment target, the ministry will help investors to get as much information as they want in order to make an investment, Djamaluddin said.

"We will provide documents for clear information on what to be invested, the condition and reserves, the regulation. We will give best service to get the information," he stated.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Minister will also coordinate with the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to ensure a harmonized mechanism of investment for investors.

For 2021, the mineral and coal sub-sector has four priority activities, Djamaluddin said. First, the planned issuance of four regulations on acceleration of coal added value improvement, production plan, and domestic use of mineral and coal.

Second, monitoring of smelter development in the country. The ministry is aiming to make 23 smelters operational this year.Other activities are optimization of non-tax state revenue from the mineral and coal sub-sector, and surveillance and assessment of technology-based post-mining reclamation//ANT