Friday, September 11, 2020

In push for mass immunization, frontline warriors prioritized by Fardah

Jakarta, Sept 12, 2020 (ANTARA) - As many as 111 doctors, including specialists, have succumbed to the novel coronavirus as of September 11, 2020 in the country while battling on the frontlines against the virus that has affected over 200 thousand Indonesians.


Frontline doctors and paramedics have time and again demonstrated their dedication, professionalism, and hard work in fighting the invisible enemy and saving lives ever since the government announced the country's first COVID-19 cases on March 2, 2020.


President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has extended his condolences to the families of the fallen heroes and lauded their hard work and diligence in fighting COVID-19 infections, which have far from flattened so far.


The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has continued to increase in several regions in the country, leading to many hospitals filling up and healthcare workers working incessantly. 


To cut the chain of the virus spread, Jokowi has urged Indonesians to be disciplined in observing health protocols, particularly, wearing masks, washing hands with soap, and maintaining physical distancing, to ensure hospitals and paramedics do not get overwhelmed by the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

"Fiesta of democracy" requires "no compromise" approach to public health

Indonesia, the world's third largest democracy after the US and India, is once again gearing to hold simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) in 270 regions, or nearly half of its territories, on December 9 this year.

Elections are viewed as a "fiesta of democracy" in the country with a population of over 270 million people. Election preparations are usually hectic and the people enjoy the hustle bustle of campaigning, interspersed with parades and musical performances by local artists.

The first simultaneous local elections were held in 2015, and again in 2017 and 2018. All of them were conducted relatively smoothly and peacefully.

But, this year, the simultaneous Pilkada will be different owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that has already claimed 8,336 lives and infected 203,342 people since the government announced the first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

As the Pilkada implementation process begins and the dates for the campaigning period draw closer, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has shown an increase.

In fact, the novel coronavirus disease has become a real threat to local elections as the virus has infected several local election officers despite the implementation of health protocols.

In East Barito District, Central Kalimantan, the head of the local election supervisory office (Bawaslu), identified as F (37), and a member of the the local election office (KPU), identified as Z (44), have tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time.

In Papua, a member of the local KPU has contracted the virus. In Boyolali, Central Java, 69 KPU officers have been infected with COVID-19.

Several prospective candidate pairs participating in the elections in various regions have also reportedly been infected with COVID-19.

Friday, August 28, 2020

NEW YOGYAKARTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ENVISIONED TO BOOST TOURISM b Fardah

 

Jakarta, 29/8/2020 (ANTARA) - Yogyakarta, a Javanese sultanate and special autonomous province located in the central of Java Island, currently has a new and modern Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA) that is 13 times bigger than its old Adisucipto Airport.


While inaugurating the new airport on Aug 28, 2020, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) claimed that the construction of YIA, which took just 20 months and cost Rp11.3 trillion (some US$777.4 million), is the best construction practice, so far, in Indonesia.


The new airport has a 3,250-meter runway, longer than the old Adisucipto Airport's runway measuring 2,200 meters. Wide-bodied aircraft, such as Airbus A330 and Boeing 777, can land at the new airport. It has a 219 thousand square-meter terminal, compared to 17 thousand square meters at the old airport's terminal. It has a capacity to accommodate 20 million passengers yearly, as compared to 1.6 million yearly at the old airport.


Jokowi is upbeat about the YAI being crowded once the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.

"We know that we are still facing the COVID-19 pandemic. However, once we have the vaccination, Insya Allah (God willing), I believe that the airport can become the busiest. That is important," he affirmed.

Located in Kulon Progo District, Yogyakarta Province, the new airport is some 60 kilometers away from the worlds most popular Buddhist temple, Borobudur, designated by the Indonesian government as one of Indonesia's five super-priority tourist destinations.


Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi is optimistic that the YAI would attract domestic and foreign tourists, thereby helping aid economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

INDONESIA'S WEATHER IS A STUDY IN CONTRASTS by Fardah

 

Jakarta, 27/8/2020 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is preparing anticipatory measures against extreme weather events as it is prone to hydro-meteorological disasters, such as flooding, landslides, and whirlwinds, in the rainy season and wildfires or severe drought during the dry season.

Rains and dry spells often occur at the same time in different parts of the world's largest archipelagic country, which is spread over more than 16 thousand large and small islands.

These unique weather and climate dynamics can be attributed to Indonesia's territorial location around the equator as well as it being flanked by two oceans (the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean) and two big continents (Asia and Australia), Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) explained recently.

This uniqueness is apparent from the contrasting weather or climatic conditions witnessed in the country. Even as several areas are experiencing drought, others are receiving extreme rains.

While the dry season has set in in most of Indonesia's southern regions, high rainfall is still likely in the equatorial regions, according to the BMKG.

Monday, August 24, 2020

KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, LABUAN BAJO REOPEN TO DOMESTIC TOURISTS, EXPATS by Fardah

 

Jakarta, 25/8/2020 (ANTARA) - After remaining closed for nearly six months owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Komodo National Park (TNK) and Labuan Bajo have reopened to domestic tourists and expatriates living in Indonesia, albeit under several restrictions.

No more than 25 tourists are being allowed to visit each destination per day, with the observance of health protocols. Tourists are also being asked to furnish COVID-19 rapid test results showing that they are not infected with the virus.

In addition, the East Nusa Tenggara authorities are asking visitors to register online for entry tickets to Labuan Bajo through the website https://booking.labuanbajoflores.id/.

Tourists planning a trip to the Komodo National Park are being requested to use the services of certified local tour agents, who can be contacted through https://booking.labuanbajoflores.id/export/list-ta-to, according to Muhammad Iqbal, spokesperson for the Komodo National Park office.

Furthermore, the government has designated Komodo Island as a premium tourist destination, with visitors thronging the place to enjoy rare sightings of Komodo dragons in the wild.

The number of tourists visiting the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) habitat will be limited to 50 thousand annually, according to the authorities.

"Komodo Island has been prepared specifically as a conservation island, and we will limit entry to no more than 50 thousand visitors a year," East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat stated recently.

The NTT government has decided on the policy after the central government agreed to grant the province the status for co-management of the Komodo National Park in West Manggarai district along with the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Health protocols take centerstage in preparation to welcome tourists by Fardah

 Jakarta, Aug 23, 2020 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is gearing towards a transitional period of the new normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, following the relaxation of large-scale social distancing (PSBB) measures that still mandate the implementation of strict health protocols.

The pandemic has had an adverse effect on tourism due to the tightening of measures and controls on air, sea, and land transportation to break the chain of transmission of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

As of August 22, 2020, the tally of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia had reached 151,498, with 105,198 recoveries and 6,594 deaths.

Even as the nation adapts to new habits amid the ongoing pandemic, the government is endeavoring to revive the tourism sector, while putting measures in place to ensure tourists and other stakeholders consistently practice health protocols.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has implemented technical guidelines and strict health protocols at tourism destinations to ensure safety of travelers.

To regain tourist confidence, ministry has also promulgated Cleanliness, Health and Safety (CHS) protocols, according to Ari Juliano Gema, spokesperson for the ministry’s COVID-19 Impact Handling Task Force.

"That means that, in this period, we are prioritizing cleanliness, health, safety, and environmental aspects. We already have guidelines that we have made with the aim to ensure that all tourism destinations are following the guidelines and can ensure that the CHSE factors are met," he explained.

The ministry has also produced a video on the implementation of guidelines and health protocols, he added.