Wenny Zulianti

Wenny Zulianti

31
March

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) cautioned that several countries that were 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, President Jokowi stated during a videoconference meeting held at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

In connection with this problem, the government has reiterated the significance of handling the mobility of Indonesians and foreigners arriving in the country, he remarked during the virtual meeting held to discuss ways to handle Indonesians and foreign nationals arriving from overseas trips.

"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, the head of state reiterated the significance of strengthening policies on handling the inflows of foreign nationals and Indonesians arriving from overseas travel.

As of Monday (March 30), Indonesia had 1,414 confirmed cases of which 75 were discharged from hospitals, while 122 others died of this deadly virus.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases were found in 30 provinces comprising 698 in Jakarta, 180 in West Java, 128 in Banten, 91 in East Java, 81 in Central Java, 50 in South Sulawesi, 18 in Yogyakarta, 17 in East Kalimantan, 19 in Bali, 13 in North Sumatra, nine in Papua, seven in Central Kalimantan, three in Riau Islands, and eight each in West Sumatra and Lampung.

The coronavirus outbreak that initially struck in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019 infected at least 785,777 people worldwide, while death toll from this virus was recorded at no less than 37,815 as of Tuesday.

According to the Worldometers' website, 165,607 people were reported to have recovered from COVID-19. Related news: Jokowi urges regional heads to tighten entry of Jabodetabek travelers

31
March

The Indonesian rupiah strengthened against the US dollar in the Jakarta interbank market on Tuesday morning, as the Chinese economy started to recover.

The rupiah rose 13 points, or 0.08 percent, to trade at Rp16,325 at 9:41 a.m. local time as compared to Rp16,388 earlier.

"Today, the rupiah may receive a positive sentiment from the data of the Chinese government's manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes for March that exceed the expectation and enter the expansion zone, 52 vs 44.9 and 52.3 vs 42.1," Monex Investindo Futures chief researcher Ariston stated in Jakarta on Tuesday,

The data suggested that the Chinese economy started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, he remarked.

China's economic recovery may help the economies of partner countries that require Chinese materials and market, he noted.

The rising US share index may also lend a positive sentiment to the rupiah on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Index rose 3.19 percent on Monday, March 30, 2020.

The spread of the coronavirus outbreak will pose a negative sentiment to impact the rupiah's appreciation, as the main problem remains unsettled, he stated.

He has forecast the rupiah to trade at Rp16,200 to Rp16,400 per US dollar on Tuesday.

31
March

Bali has declared a state of emergency by imposing stricter measures on visitors in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to climb with local transmission detected.

With the status, the famous resort island will tighten checks at entrance gates and enforce a 14-day self-quarantine for all people entering the island, the Bali administration’s regional secretary Dewa Made Indra said.

The decision was taken by Bali Governor Wayan Koster after a meeting with the COVID-19 task force on Monday. The administration took into consideration the growing number of cases of the highly contagious viral disease on the island and confirmed local transmission cases.

The number of cases climbed 90 percent in a single day, with nine new cases on Monday, bringing the tally to 19. Among the new people who tested positive, eight are Indonesian and one is a foreign national, Dewa said.

“With the status, the administration, police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and other elements can carry out stricter efforts to prevent COVID-19. This is important to give stronger protection to Bali residents,” Dewa, who is also the chairman of Bali’s COVID-19 task force said on Monday.

The administration had previously issued an advisory level of Siaga (watch) for the province from March 16 to 30 in its effort to stem the spread of the respiratory illness that has dealt a blow to tourism on the island.

Dewa further said the task force had recorded cases of local transmission, the first on Bali after only having reported imported cases.

“There have been three cases of local transmission. This means the virus has been transmitted between people on the island,” he said.

Among the three cases, one is a nurse who handled a patient infected with the viral disease, highlighting the high risk of transmission faced by medical workers amid a shortage of protective gear across the country.

 

31
March

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has raised concerns over an increase in imported COVID-19 cases as migrants workers are expected to return from abroad for Idul Fitri. He has ordered regional leaders to take preventive measures to stop the further spread of the highly contagious respiratory disease.

He said he had received reports of around 3,000 Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia in the past several days.

“We are concerned [because] some 1.8 million Indonesians may be leaving Malaysia, so we need to step up our measures for health screenings,” he said during a limited Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, citing data from the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) in 2019.

“If they show no symptoms, they can be sent back to their hometown, but they will be considered ODP [patients under general monitoring].”

In addition to migrant workers, the government is also preparing for the homecoming of 10,000 to 11,000 Indonesian crew members of luxury cruise ships.

China, South Korea and Singapore have encountered a “new wave” of COVID-19 infections, meaning that new confirmed cases of the disease did not come from local contagions but from those who had been traveling overseas.

Jokowi also said that the epicenter of the disease had shifted to Europe and the United States, so the government would also heavily monitor people entering Indonesia from both regions.

“I want the health protocols to be stricter at airports, seaports and border checks. And if they are asymptomatic but under observation for the disease, we will return them to their countries of origin,” the President said.

“But if they have symptoms, we will isolate them in a hospital, such as the one we are currently building in Galang Island, Riau Islands.” (glh)