Sabtu, 04 Juli 2020

Global community's growing chorus against Israel's annexation plan by Fardah

Jakarta, July 4, 2020 (ANTARA) - Israel did not proceed with its planned July-1 annexation of parts of West Bank and Jordan Valley, Palestine, amid fierce rejection by the international community, including its closest allies: the Great Britain, Australia, and Germany.

Vociferous oppositions also arose from the European Union (EU), Arab nations, and Asian countries, including Indonesia, which have been appealing to the international community to reject the plan since the start.

Palestine too has unitedly voiced its rejection of the plan. Both Hamas and Fatah have condemned Israel for attempting to grab more Palestinian land.

International organizations, including the UN, the Arab League, and the OIC, have also called on Israel to abandon settlement plans that run counter to the international laws and UN resolutions. Dozens of UN experts were apprehensive that the proposed annexation plan would create a “21st century apartheid”.


Indonesia, a staunch and consistent supporter of Palestine’s struggle for independence, has proactively kept up the pressure against Israel’s annexation plan through various international forums.

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi sent letters to dozens of governments worldwide to garner support for the rejection of the plan on May 27, 2020.

“I have received positive responses from many countries, including South Africa, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, China, Japan, Russia, Tunisia, Vietnam, Egypt, Jordan, Ireland, and France, as well as from the UN secretary general and the OIC secretary general,” the minister stated in Jakarta on July 2, 2020.

Those countries mostly voiced their support to Indonesia’s initiative to urge the international community to prevent and reject the annexation plan. Moreover, they voiced the need to pursue a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A common concern is that the annexation would threaten regional and global stability while also impairing the effective mitigation efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, Indonesia, along with Tunisia and South Africa, had initiated a ministerial-level meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to deliberate on Israel’s unilateral plan to annex Palestine.

Jumat, 03 Juli 2020

Timely budget spending crucial for economic recovery amid COVID-19 by Fardah

Jakarta, July 3, 2020 (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) delivered a strong rebuke to ministers and leaders of state institutions over the slow handling of the COVID-19 crisis during a cabinet meeting on June 18 this year.

He ordered his aides to improve ministerial budget spending, noting that expenditure in the health sector has only reached two percent of the budgeted Rp75 trillion.

The President also highlighted the need for promptly disbursing social assistance and ensuring that micro-, small-, and medium-scale businesses receive the necessary economic stimulus.

“The atmosphere in the last three months and in the next three months should be one of crisis. ... I see there are still many of us who [are still acting] as usual. I'm annoyed," he said in a video released on June 28, 2020.

He expressed annoyance at the “lack of sense of crisis” among his ministers, and threatened to dissolve certain institutions or carry out a cabinet reshuffle, if necessary.

Jokowi has been repeatedly reminding ministers to move fast in spending their allocated budgets, including for MSMEs, the health sector, and providing social benefits for the poor, so that jobs can be created and the economy, which has been dealt a severe blow by the COVID-19 pandemic, can recover.  

 "I have ordered all ministries and institutions to spend the existing budget, and I am monitoring it every day," Jokowi said on June 30, 2020.

The President said he has been keeping tabs on the budget disbursals of each ministry and state agency on a daily basis.

The head of state highlighted the need to expedite budget disbursals by ministries to increase money supply and stimulate the economy.

After COVID shock, Indonesia moves to make health sector crisis-ready by Fardah

Jakarta, July 4, 2020 (ANTARA) - The coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged in China in late 2019 and then spread rapidly across the globe, has caught many countries unprepared, sparking an unprecedented crisis across the world.  


Lack of planning and preparation in dealing with the crisis has led to a loss of lives, including those of doctors and nurses fighting at the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle, often with inadequate personal protection due to shortage of critical medical and safety equipment, including masks, which are easy to produce and cheap in cost.  
 

As of July 4, 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has reached 11,219,696, with 6,363,696 recoveries and 529,601 deaths. 

In Indonesia, 62,142 people have been infected with the virus so far, with the number of patients recovering from the virus climbing to 28,219 and the death toll mounting to 3,089. 


As per data provided on May 6, 2020 by the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response, 55 medical workers — 38 doctors and 12 nurses — have succumbed to the infection in Indonesia.
 

In East Java, 86 doctors and 146 nurses have been exposed to COVID-19, said Dr. Sutrisno, chairman of the province’s Indonesian Medical Association (IDI). Thirteen doctors and 11 nurses have succumbed to the disease, he added. 


In South Sulawesi, Prof. Dr Syafri Kamsul Arif, spokesperson for the local COVID-19 response task force, said 70 health workers have contracted the virus, of whom, 60 percent have made a full recovery.
 

Rabu, 01 Juli 2020

Indonesia strives to win tourist confidence amid COVID-19 by Fardah

Jakarta, July 2, 2020 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is taking steps to build tourist confidence, considered vital for the successful recovery of the tourism sector, by putting stringent health protocols and screening guidelines in place for regions planning to reopen to tourists. 

As it gears for the implementation of the new normal, the government is making efforts to ensure only those regions which report a low COVID-19 transmission rate, backed by scientific data, are allowed to proceed with their plans for receiving tourists, and that too under strict protocols advised by the World Health Organization (WHO).    

"We must not push to apply a new normal while it is, in fact, not possible based on the (COVID-19 cases) data. Do not force it. Hence, the stages must be prepared," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on June 29, 2020. 

As parts of the efforts to regain tourist confidence, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has formulated and socialized health protocols, dubbed Cleanliness, Health and Safety (CHS) protocols.

"Indonesia's success in handling COVID-19 can be a consideration in building the nation’s brand. Hence, a synergy between ASITA (Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies) and representatives of market countries is needed to boost tourist confidence," Nia Niscaya, deputy of the marketing division of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy said on June 28, 2020.

Learning from several countries that have managed to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, the ministry plans to first focus on the domestic market.

The ministry plans to launch a campaign dubbed #DiIndonesiaAja (#JustStayInIndonesia) targeting the market segment of families, couples, individual tourists, or fully independent travelers (FIT), and the government.

A digital prescription for MSMEs amid COVID-19 by Fardah

Jakarta (ANTARA) , July 2, 2020 - Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), the backbone of the Indonesian economy, have been particularly vulnerable to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic owing to transport, and supply and demand chain disruptions, and restrictions on movement of people. 

To help them survive amid the near economic collapse caused by the pandemic, the Indonesian government has announced a major economic stimulus package for MSMEs.    

According to Teten Masduki, Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), as much as Rp735 trillion of funding has been allocated for MSME revival.

"We are optimistic that if the Rp735 trillion is channeled for the MSME (revival) budget, the economy can be reactivated," the minister said.

The government, institutions, and state-owned enterprises budget for MSMEs is expected to help boost the national economy. 

"We have to maintain (MSMEs) as our market is rather significant with 250 million people (being served by such businesses). If there is commitment among the people to buy from MSMEs, it will increase the demand for (products made by) MSMEs, he said.

The ministry has granted relaxations on MSME loans through installment delays, credit subsidy, tax amnesty, and provisions for new, more affordable capital for MSMEs to ensure their productivity is maintained. 

At present, the Cooperatives and SME Ministry is preparing a digital catalog and a page specifically for MSMEs with the help of the Government Institution for Provisions of Goods and Services (LKPP).

Indonesia had 64.1 million MSME businesses, as of the first half of 2019. Of the total figure, 63.3 million, or 98.6 percent, are microbusinesses. Of the total MSMEs, only about 13 percent, or 8.3 million, have capitalized on digitalization to conduct their businesses.

Selasa, 30 Juni 2020

A deep sense of humanity for Rohingya prevails in Aceh by Fardah

Jakarta (ANTARA) , July 1, 2020- The smiles are again back on the faces of Rohingya children after being rescued from a sinking boat and currently being accommodated in an abandoned immigration building in Blang Mangat, Lhokseumawe, Aceh.

The 35 Rohingya children are part of the total 100 Rohingya refugees, who were rescued by three Aceh fishermen -- Faisal, Abdul Aziz, and Raja -- on hearing their audible cries after their damaged boat began sinking in the Malacca Strait waters. 

The three fishermen moved the refugees, including 48 women, to another boat and pulled them near the North Aceh shore on June 24, 2020.

The local authorities, petrified of the spread of the COVID-19 disease, prevented the refugees from disembarking and pushed the boat back to sea after giving them food and drinking water.

The local villagers were moved at witnessing the plight of children and women crying for help while their boat was pushed back from Lancok Beach in Syantalira Bayu Sub-district, North Aceh District, and attempted to reason with several officers. They insisted that the refugees be allowed to disembark on Aceh land.

In the afternoon of June 25, amid extreme weather, strong winds, and dark cloudy skies, several villagers took it upon themselves to evacuate the refugees without awaiting the authorities’ approval.

“We will pull the boat back and feed them here,” Nasruddin, one of the villagers, stated.

With a strong sense of humanity and empathy, the villagers took the bold move, as there were infants, children, and old women aboard the boat. 

Jumat, 26 Juni 2020

COVID-19 ADDING TO CHALLENGE POSED BY FOREST FIRES By Fardah

Jakarta, 27/6/2020 (Antara) - With Indonesia still in the grip of the coronavirus, which is known to cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), forest fires and the associated smog could potentially spell a double disaster, suffocating people and animals.

Wildfires are normally known to occur every year on Sumatra and Kalimantan islands during the dry season. They often produce smog that can shroud neighboring countries, particularly Malaysia and Singapore.

This year, the peak dry season is forecast for August and September.

During a limited cabinet meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in Jakarta on June 23, 2020, Doni Monardo, chief of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response, cautioned that heavy smoke from forest and land fires, especially peatlands, could adversely impact public health and increase risk of people contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"Heavy smoke can pose a health threat to the community, particularly those ailing from asthma or ARI (acute respiratory infection). The impact could be dangerous for asthma patients when exposed to COVID-19," Monardo said.

Hence, Jokowi has ordered his ministers to take precautionary steps against forest and land fires, Monardo added.

He stressed the need for closer cooperation between all sections of the community in all regions to mitigate forest and land fires, particularly in fire-prone areas.

ON JAKARTA ANNIVERSARY, A 'PRESENT': PANDEMIC SHOWING SIGNS OF SLOWING by Fardah

Jakarta, 27/6 , 2020(Antara) - There has been no grand celebration to commemorate Jakarta's 493rd anniversary this year as the Indonesian capital has been preoccupied with the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, there has been cause for cheer thanks to news of Jakarta finally managing to bring the infection relatively under control. According to a UI report, the effective reproductive number (Rt) for the city has slid to 0.98 in June this year from 4 in March.

"(I have just received) a report from the team of the Public Health Faculty of the University of Indonesia (UI) that shows that during the past two weeks, under the transition period, the outbreak has been brought under control," Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan remarked during a modest commemoration ceremony at the city hall on June 22, 2020.

Home to a population of around 11 million, Jakarta emerged as the country's first COVID-19 epicenter, following President Joko Widodo's announcement of Indonesia's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

On March 16, prior to the governments enactment of large-scale social distancing measures, Jakarta recorded its highest Rt of 4, while the threshold is 1, based on the assumption that every 100 people infected with COVID-19 would transmit the disease to 400 others.

On April 10 this year, the figure dropped to 1.5, and currently, it has dipped below one, thanks to the hard work put in by all Jakartans, Baswedan said.

"This is such a present for Jakarta's people as we celebrate the anniversary, since the pandemic that was rampant is currently being brought under control," he remarked.

On June 24, 2020, Jakarta added 195 fresh COVID-19 cases, bringing its total count of confirmed cases so far to 10,472.

The capital city registered 112 recoveries and three deaths the previous day, Fify Mulyani, head of Jakarta's Public Health Office, said.

The metropolitan city has so far registered 5,434 recoveries, while the death toll has been recorded at 631, she noted.

Selasa, 16 Juni 2020

Clamor grows for ending trafficking, slavery on the seas by Fardah

Jakarta , June 16, 2020 (ANTARA) - On June 5 this year, two sailors — Reynalfi, 22, and Andri Juniansyah, 30 — jumped off Chinese-flagged fishing vessel Fu Lu Qing Yuan Yu 901 as soon as it entered Indonesia's territorial waters in the Malacca Strait.

After about seven hours adrift, they were rescued by local fishermen from Tanjung Balai Karimun,  Riau Island, Sumatra. 

The two Indonesian crew members reportedly decided to jump off the vessel because they could not withstand the treatment they received on board. They cited lack of food and drinking water and being forced to work very long hours as reasons for jumping overboard. They also claimed they were intimidated and physically harmed, either by the ship’s captain or by Chinese crewmen.

The two Indonesian citizens were allegedly victims of human trafficking, according to a report by Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW).

“The allegation of forced labor emerged after we found violations such as unpaid wages, poor working conditions, threats and intimidation, [all of] which Andri Juniansyah and Reynalfi experienced,” DFW Indonesia coordinator M. Abdi Suhufan told the media.

According to DFW data, at least 30 Indonesian crew members have been victims of such violations on board Chinese vessels between November, 2019 and June, 2020. Seven of the crew reportedly died, three remain missing, and 20 have survived. 

With several cases coming to light, the DFW has called for a moratorium and evaluation of the policy of sending Indonesian seafarers to work on Chinese-flagged fishing vessels.

There have been allegations of human trafficking and forced labor against irresponsible perpetrators at home, who have been sending Indonesian seafarers to work on Chinese fishing boats, Suhufan noted.


Reports on the ill-treatment of Indonesian fishermen on Chinese fishing boats have triggered an uproar in the world’s largest archipelagic country.

Senin, 15 Juni 2020

Collective action urged against Israel plan to annex West Bank

Jakarta, June 16, 2020 (ANTARA) - With the colonial regime in Israel expanding its territories by occupying more Arab lands, the international community has been urged to prevent Israel’s planned annexation of the West Bank, and help realize the independence of the Palestinian state, based on the borders drawn in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

 

The call was voiced by the OIC Executive Committee at the conclusion of its Extraordinary Open-Ended Ministerial Meeting, held virtually on June 10, 2020, some 20 days before Israel is scheduled to implement its planned annexation of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, beginning July 1. 

 

The OIC has called on the international community to take steps against the Israeli occupation and its colonial practices that jeopardize the fundamentals of the rule-based international order, the organization of Muslim majority countries said in a 15-point resolution, which was adopted at the meeting that was also attended by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi.

The OIC has also asked the international community to take the necessary legal countermeasures, including refraining from dealings with any Israeli government that endorses an annexation agenda, imposing economic and political sanctions on Israel, and boycotting the Israeli colonial system, and illegal Israeli settlements and their products.

 

In addition, the OIC has urged its members to take the necessary political, legal, and economic measures to address the Israeli threat to the occupied Palestinian territory.

The resolution also calls on all states to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to ensure the release of Palestinian prisoners, especially the sick, the elderly, children, and women, and to protect them from the risk of COVID-19 infection.

 

Selasa, 09 Juni 2020

Indonesian regions brace for reopening of tourism attractions amid COVID-19 pandemic by Fardah

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought the tourism sector to a screeching halt, resulting in the collapse of tourism-related industries comprising aviation, hotel, restaurant, and other travel and hospitality businesses worldwide.

With the COVID-19 pandemic lingering on since early this year, several nations are currently migrating at a measured pace, from crises management to recovery efforts, especially to breathe new life into the tourism sector that has been the foremost and worst affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Indonesia is one of the nations that is keen to initiate efforts to usher in recovery in their tourism and hospitality industries that have been dealt a debilitating blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, Indonesia’s several regions registered no tourist arrivals, thereby leaving hotels, travel agents, and related services with no choice but to close down.

As the government announced a plan to transition from the large-scale social distancing measures (PSBB) to the new normal concept, several regions are also prepping to revive the tourism industry.

Bali, one of the world’s most popular resort islands, in cooperation with the Tourism Creative Economy Ministry, is currently preparing health protocols for tourism in the new normal.

However, the Bali provincial administration is yet to take a decision on when to reopen the island for tourists.

However, if it is decided to reopen it gradually, the local government will be selective in receiving international tourists and will enforce stringent health protocols.

Senin, 08 Juni 2020

POST-COVID-19 RECOVERY MUST PAVE WAY TO SUSTAINABLE WORLD by Fardah

Jakarta, 9/6/2020 (Antara) - The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious damage, socially and economically, around the world.

As of June 9, 2020, the novel coronavirus disease has claimed 409,104 lives, with over 7 million people contracting the infection in 213 countries and territories.

Economically, the outbreak has triggered economic collapse, leading to closure of businesses, job losses, and poverty, particularly in developing countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as an unprecedented global shock that has magnified the impact of inequality, hitting the poor the hardest, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

On the other hand, with people forced to lock themselves at home to break the chain of the virus spread, people in big cities particularly have been able to enjoy fresh air as pollution has reduced significantly. The sky in Jakarta is blue and the river is cleaner as there is much less human activity.

The healing seen in nature, however, would be temporary, if people do not change the way they conduct businesses once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

As governments around the world are racing to implement economic stimulus and support packages to keep individuals, businesses, and economies afloat, IISD has reminded that these measures must pave the way to a more sustainable economy and development.

COVID-19 SHIFTS TOURISM FOCUS TO SAFE, RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL Fardah

Jakarta, 7/6 (Antara) - The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought the world to a standstill, with people around the globe confined to their homes over the last three months at least to break the chain of virus transmission.
As countries race to develop vaccines against COVID-19, their tourism and hospitality industries, which have been crippled by the pandemic, are trying to revive and adapt their businesses by implementing stringent health protocols.
Tourism and hospitality industries are now working to ensure guests and clients stay safe, healthy and comfortable by implementing physical distancing measures and stringent health protocols.
Tourists are being advised to stay safe and travel responsibly by following the WHOs simple, but effective, guidelines, such as washing hands regularly and thoroughly, avoiding shaking hands or touching the face, staying away from crowded places, and where possible, maintaining at least one-meter distance from other people.
Indonesia is one of the countries that are eager to initiate a recovery in their tourism and hospitality industries, which have been dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Central Statistics Agency (BPS) head Suhariyanto, foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia fell sharply by 87.44 percent to 160 thousand in April, 2020 from 1.27 million in April, 2019. Compared with March, foreign tourist arrivals declined 66.02 percent in April.

Senin, 01 Juni 2020

Police, military roped in to edify public on new normal protocols Fardah

Jakarta, June 1, 2020 (ANTARA) - After imposing large-scale social distancing (PSBB) measures for less than two months, the Indonesian government has switched its focus to the implementation of a new normal amid the prolonged COVID-19 epidemic.

  The decision has been prompted by indications that it may be a while before a vaccine against the deadly virus is developed.


The government has stressed that the new measure does not imply a relaxation, but is being promulgated as it has now become necessary to resume certain office and business activities as the country's economy, particularly the tourism industry, has been hit hard by the continued pandemic.


The novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China last year, has forced people across the world to change the way they lead their lives and find ways to co-exist with COVID-19 through the observance of health protocols to prevent an infection till the time a coronavirus vaccine is developed.


Under the new normal, people will be expected to carry out their daily activities while giving priority to personal safety and preventive measures against COVID-19.


In preparation for the transition to the new normal, the Health Ministry has been drafting health protocols to ensure that people stay safe and healthy while carrying out routine and productive activities.
 

Minggu, 31 Mei 2020

Indonesia strongly opposes Israeli annexation plan of West Bank by Fardah

Jakarta, May 31, 2020 (ANTARA) - Israel’s lust for more Arab land seems endless. They have occupied and colonized most of Palestinian land and unilaterally claimed Syria’s Golan Height, annexed Jerusalem, and now they plan to annex parts of Jordan Valley and West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of Likud’s Knesset faction on May 26 that the annexation of West Bank will begin on July 1 this year.

“We don’t intend to change it.” Netnyahu was quoted by Israeli media Haaretz, adding that “this is an opportunity that can’t be missed.”

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, has opined that Israel's plan to annex more land from the illegally occupied West Bank will bring a new calamity for Palestinians, similar to their mass exodus in 1948, known as Nakba, which is commemorated on May 15 annually.

To create the State of Israel, Zionist forces attacked major Palestinian cities, destroyed some 530 villages, and killed approximately 13,000 Palestinians in 1948, with more than 750,000 expelled from their homes and becoming refugees.

At present, the refugees and their descendants number more than seven million. Many still languish in refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries, such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, waiting to return to their homeland.

Nakba's 72nd anniversary has come at a time when an extreme right-wing government in Israel looks to expand its territory to the Jordan Valley.

"The annexation of Jordan Valley is an attempt to complete the catastrophe (Nakba) of 1948 and to completely liquidate the Palestinian cause," Hanan Ashrawi, prominent politician and thinker, said as reported by Aljazeera.

Senin, 25 Mei 2020

Indonesians asked to prepare for new normal by Fardah

Jakarta , May 25, 2020 (ANTARA) -

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked Indonesians, and businesses entities in particular, to prepare to coexist with COVID-19, which would necessitate a new normal of social distancing and observance of health protocols.

For the country, which has been battling the pandemic since early March this year, finding ways to coexist with COVID-19 would not imply giving up the fight against the deadly virus, he asserted.

Instead, it would involve carrying out normal activities peacefully, safely, productively, and comfortably by following the new health protocols to safeguard against coronavirus spread, as, currently, no vaccines have been developed against the infection.

The safety of the public must remain priority, the President remarked.

In preparation for the transition toward a new normal amid the lingering pandemic, the government is drafting protocols for various activities to ensure that people stay safe and healthy, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said.

"This will be discussed in detail and will be decided by the President. We are now studying the concept technically and comprehensively," Airlangga said, adding that the new normal will demand strong discipline on part of the public.

In Jakarta, the country’s capital and COVID-19 epicenter, Governor Anies Bawesdan has projected that normalcy will be restored and local residents will resume activities after the third round of large-scale social distancing (PSBB) ends.

"If we all remain disciplined, Jakarta can return to a new normal. Many people usually call it a new normal to refer to a new situation instead of a pre-pandemic situation," he remarked at the Jakarta City Hall on May 20, 2020.

However, Jakarta residents are expected to not reduce their adherence to a disciplined lifestyle under new normal conditions, he said.

“This (COVID-19 fight) is not yet over. I want to underscore that there is no relaxation. Do not think it is relaxed. Do not feel that it is over," he cautioned.

Indonesia braces for extreme dry season amid COVID-19 by Fardah

Jakarta , May 25, 2020 (ANTARA) -

As it battles the coronavirus pandemic, Indonesia, which is currently entering the dry season, is bracing for a possible prolonged drought.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast that 30 percent of the country’s regions entering the dry season in the next three months will experience drier-than-usual weather conditions.

This year, the dry season started in April, and is forecast to be dominant in May, June, and July, and peak during the period from August to September.

The hydrological drought is forecast to chiefly impact 10 provinces -- West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Maluku, and Papua -- with affected areas spread across 90 districts and cities.

Agricultural land forecast to be affected by drought in the 10 provinces cover 1.14 million hectares of irrigation areas.

"Hence, steps to mitigate the impact must be thoroughly prepared, so that the stability of food prices is not affected," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on May 5, 2020, while chairing a virtual limited meeting on "Anticipating the Impact of Drought on the Availability of Staple Food". The meeting was attended byVice President Ma'ruf Amin and ministers.

The impact of COVID-19 and a prolonged drought could deal a double blow to the country by prompting a food crisis, if the problems are not anticipated and managed properly.

To prevent a food shortage, the government has outlined two strategies: encouraging planting of crops earlier, before the 2020 dry season sets in; and, delivering the necessary infrastructure and facilities promptly to support the planting process.

"The planting season should be accelerated. We must capitalize on the rainfall that still exists today. We must ensure that farmers continue to produce and plant by applying health protocols," Jokowi remarked.

The Agriculture Ministry is implementing the Paddy Planting Acceleration Movement in several regions to encourage early planting.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto had earlier announced that the government will offer incentives worth Rp600 thousand to 2.44 million farmers to facilitate planting in the next period.

Furthermore, the Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry has readied several dams, reservoirs, water retention basins, bore wells, and other facilities to store water, particularly for irrigation purposes.

Sabtu, 16 Mei 2020

REJECTING TO HELP ROHINGYA AKIN TO REJECTING ASEAN COMMUNITY by Fardah


Jakarta, 16/5/2020 (Antara) - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has again placed the Rohingya under the media spotlight, as several ASEAN members are refusing helpless Rohingyas aboard boats from landing on their lands on pretext of the disease outbreak.
On April 16, 2020, the Malaysian navy had intercepted a boat, carrying aboard some 200 Rohingya refugees, off the coast of Malaysia and prevented it from entering the Malaysian waters.

Bangladeshi coast guards had earlier intercepted another boatload of refugees that, the survivors averred, had been turned away from the Malaysian waters almost two months earlier. A total of 382 starving Rohingya refugees were taken off the boat, and survivors reported that at least 30 people onboard had died before the rescue.

Following those incidents and fueled by misinformation, fake news, and provocations, the rising hostility towards refugees in Malaysia surfaced through several anti-Rohingya petitions and hate speeches on social media.

The COVID-19 pandemic does not create a justification for risking the lives of refugees on overcrowded boats, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated while expressing its concern.

Malaysias claims to support the rights of Rohingya mean shockingly little when they push desperate refugees back to sea, Phil Robertson, the deputy director of HRWs Asia division, affirmed.

In Indonesia, Acehs waters and air police currently intensified patrolling to stop some 500 Rohingya refugees aboard two boats, reportedly sailing nearby while en route to Malaysia, from making transits on Aceh soil.

INDONESIA AIMS FOR SELF-RELIANCE IN MEDICAL DEVICES, PRODUCTS by Fardah


Jakarta, 16/5/2020 (Antara) - The novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, has infected 17,025 Indonesians so far, with the number of dead reaching 1,089, including scores of medical workers.
The Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response on May 6, 2020 stated that 55 medical workers 38 doctors and 12 nurses have succumbed to COVID-19.
The medical workers got infected due to several reasons, including contact with patients who did not accurately report their condition and lack of proper hazmat suits to protect them while treating patients.
President Joko Widodo has instructed that optimum protection be extended to doctors and medical workers at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic, according to Doni Monardo, head of the COVID-19 task force.
The protection encompasses ensuring the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical workers handling COVID-19 patients.
"We do not want to see more doctors die owing to a lack of protection. We need to cooperate with all parties to ensure that doctors receive better protection," he remarked on May 6, 2020.
In addition to lack of PPEs, Indonesia is also facing shortages of other medical devices, such as COVID-19 test kits, ventilators, and medical masks, as well as medicines.

In early April, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto relaxed a regulation on the export and import of health equipment and PPEs to resolve the problem of their scarcity.
The Trade Minister's Regulation No. 34 of 2020 temporarily bans the exports of antiseptics, mask raw materials, PPE, masks, and ethyl alcohol, until June 30, 2020, as domestic demand has jumped owing to the pandemic.

The Trade Minister's Regulation No. 28 of 2020 on the import of certain products has temporarily scrapped the obligation to submit a Surveyor Report (LS) for the import of masks and PPE products and other health equipment until June 30.

The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR), however, has urged the government to mass-produce COVID-19 equipment, instead of relying on imports.

Rabu, 13 Mei 2020

INDONESIA IN URGENT NEED OF LAW ON PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION by Fardah

Jakarta, 13/5/2020 (Antara) - Many Indonesians have shown a preference for online shopping ever since the Indonesian Government imposed large-scale social distancing measures to restrict public movement and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.
Data provided by ADA (Analytic Data Advertising) indicates a 300-400-percent increase in internet usage by adaptive shoppers last March, while internet use by WFH (work-from-home) professionals has climbed 400 percent.
Amid the jump in online shoppers, the Indonesian public was recently shocked to learn about the leaking of personal data of millions of users of e-commerce platform, Tokopedia.
According to some reports, a hacker put up a database containing the personal data of 91 million Tokopedia users for sale on the dark Web for US$5,000. Some reports say the data of 15 million users was breached.

Concerns over personal data safety have been gaining ground since the past several years, especially in view of the numerous credit and loan offers floating around via telephone and random short messages.
Last year, the Home Affairs Ministry, which is in charge of storing personal data of Indonesian citizens, admitted that at least 1,227 institutions, both government and private, have access to data on Indonesian citizenship.
However, private institutions still have to seek permission from the ministry to access citizens data, the then home affairs minister, Tjahjo Kumolo, said in July, 2019.
The protection of people's data is regulated in Law Number 24 of 2013 concerning Population Administration and the Minister of Home Affairs Regulation Number 61 of 2015, among others, but there is no strict sanction for any institution found leaking personal data.
Therefore, Sukamta, member of Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR), has suggested that the Bill on Personal Data Protection (PDP) encompass regulations on obligations of data managers and sanctions for data breach.
He pointed to the recent data breach at Tokopedia while sharing his concerns.

Jumat, 08 Mei 2020

Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo deserted amid COVID-19 outbreak by Fardah

Jakarta , May 8, 2020 (ANTARA) - Marcia Stephanie, owner of iDive Komodo diving operator, sent her employees home, as her business lost customers following the temporary closure of the Komodo National Park as a measure to break the COVID-19 transmission chain.
“We have had no trip since March 22 when the Komodo National Park director announced the park’s closure due to COVID-19,” she told Bisnis journalist on April 6, 2020.

Her employees received full salaries for the last time in February, while they got just quarter of their salaries in April.

All diving operations in Komodo Island and Labuan Bajo in West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, closed since no tourist had visited the two destinations owing to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Komodo National Park has been closed from March 22 to May 29, 2020, to support the central government’s policy of large-scale social distancing measure imposed following announcement of the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 2, 2020.

The Komodo Labuan Bajo International Airport has also temporarily ceased its operations from April 24 to June 1, 2020, in line with restricting the movement of people.

The Komodo National Park and its adjacent Labuan Bajo, both with unique and enthralling scenery, fauna, and flora, were recently designated by the central government as premium tourist destinations.

However, with the global economy, including the tourism industry, bearing a severe brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists visiting the two destinations has dropped drastically, up to some 50 percent, since February.

"The number of foreign tourists to Labuan Bajo has decreased by nearly 50 percent," Agustinus Rinus, head of the West Manggarai tourism office, stated on April 6.

Kamis, 07 Mei 2020

INDONESIA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY PROJECTED TO REBOUND IN 2021 by Fardah

Jakarta, 7/5/2020 (Antara) - The tourism industry in several countries, including Indonesia, has been seriously crippled by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, compelling people globally to stay at home and forego traveling to prevent transmission of the lethal virus.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indonesia had outlined a target to receive at least 17 million foreign tourists in 2020.

However, in the wake of the viral outbreak, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia had dropped sharply in March to 470,900, or equal to the figure in 2007, according to the Central Statistics Office (BPS) on April 4, 2020.

The March figure indicated a 45.5-percent drop as compared to February and 64.11 percent from that in March 2019, according to BPS Head Suhariyanto.

A decline in the number of foreign tourist arrivals was recorded at nearly all main airports, with a 64.72-percent drop at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport, 75 percent decrease at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport, and 64.11 percent decline at Kualanamu Airport, Medan.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals by sea also dropped drastically. Batam seaport in Riau Islands Province recorded a 75-percent drop, while a 92-percent decrease was witnessed at Tanjung Uban. A similar trend was observed among those coming by land, such as in Atambua and Entikong in Kalimantan that shares its border with Malaysia.


Based on nationality, the sharpest decline was observed in the number of tourists arriving from China, reaching 97.46 percent; followed by Hong Kong, down 96 percent; and Kuwait, down 89 percent, according to the BPS.

Bingka telur pandan by Nithaks

Bahan-bahan
4 butir telur ayam/bebek
100 gr gula pasir / 8 sdm
500 ml santan (me 2 kara + 370 ml air)
2-3 sdm tepung terigu
1/2 sdt garam
50 ml jus pandan/suji (dr 3 lebar daun pandan + 2 lembar daun suji)


cara membuat:

-  masukkan telur dan gula dalam wadah dan kocok
 -  tambahkan santan, jus pandan dan garam, kocok lagi
- tambahkan tepung terigu, kocok sampai rata
-saring adonan
- masukkan dalam loyang
kukus selama 30 menit, dengan api besar, dan tutup diberi serbet agar uap panas tidak menetes ke adonan

Jumat, 01 Mei 2020

PREVENTING DENGUE, MALARIA TO AVOID DOUBLE HEALTH BURDEN AMID CORONA by Fardah


Jakarta, 1/5/2020 (Antara) - As Indonesia battles the novel coronavirus disease, another health threat looms for the tropical nation with the change in season that of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.
In the transitional period from rainy to dry season, which the country is currently experiencing, there is usually a high prevalence of both dengue and malaria, which translate into high morbidity and mortality for many patients around the world.
The main mosquito vector of malaria is Anopheles, whereas dengue is spread by Aedes aegypty. Dengue occurs year-round in Indonesia, with peak transmissions in the rainy season, from November through April.
Achmad Yurianto, the government spokesperson for COVID-19 response, has repeatedly urged the Indonesian people to remain vigilant against dengue.
"Combination of dengue and COVID-19 infections could be fatal for the health system," Yurianto, concurrently the Indonesian Health Ministrys director general for Disease Control and Prevention, said on April 29, 2020.
Moreover, dengue fever and COVID-19 are difficult to distinguish because they share clinical and laboratory features. There have been cases which were wrongly diagnosed as dengue, but later confirmed to be COVID-19.
Hence, as people practice social distancing by staying at home, he called for ridding homes of rubbish and destroying mosquito-breeding grounds, including clogged drains and unkept compounds.
In every house, office, school, and other public places, it is necessary to form a Jumantik, or larvae monitor, to ensure there are no mosquito larvae. If found, it needs to be destroyed immediately because environmental factors greatly influence the development of mosquitoes, Yurianto advised.
Stay at home and destroy mosquito nests, he reiterated.
Based on data from the Indonesian Health Ministry, the country has recorded 49,563 dengue cases and 310 deaths in the January 1-April 27, 2020 period.

Of the total cases, West Java has reported the highest number of infections at 6,337, followed by Bali (6,050), East Nusa Tenggara (4,679), Lampung (4,115), and East Java (3,715).

Forty-eight people have died of dengue in East Nusa Tenggara, 39 in Central Java, 33 in West Java, 31 in East Java, and 17 in Lampung.

During a recent visit to Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara, Doni Monardo, chief of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response, urged the provincial government to remain vigilant for dengue fever outbreaks.

"We need to remind the NTT government to not only focus on COVID-19 cases, but also to anticipate the emergence of dengue during the transition season," said Doni Monardo, during a teleconference with the Deputy Governor of Nusa Tenggara, Josef A Nae Soi.

Kamis, 30 April 2020

Indonesia channels spirit of 'gotong royong' in COVID-19 battle by Fardah

Jakarta, April 30 , 2020- Since it first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, the coronavirus disease has spread to 211 countries and territories, with 3,237,614 confirmed cases, 1,010,320 recoveries, and 228,830 deaths recorded globally, according to Worldometer website.

While declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, the WHO director general, in a media briefing on March 11, 2020, had said that every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight against the deadly virus.

“I have said from the beginning that countries must take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

As of April 30, 2020, Indonesia has recorded 10,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 792 people succumbing to the infection and 522 patients making a full recovery. The centers of COVID-19 transmission in the country include Jakarta, and several cities in West Java, East Java, Central Java, and Banten.

In keeping with the WHO advise, Indonesia has been involving all stakeholders in battling the virus, and optimizing the nation’s tradition of “gotong royong”, or mutual help or cooperation.

"The government cannot work alone. The entire nation's participation is indispensable," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said from the Bogor Presidential Palace on April 18, 2020.

He said the current situation has left people ill at ease, but, with the spirit of "goyong royong", Indonesia would be able to come out of the current crisis.

The call for “gotong royong” resonated with nutritionist Lidya Sembiring, who registered as a volunteer at Jakarta’s Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital, which is providing COVID-19 treatment. She made the decision after witnessing her medical peers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle and upon hearing of the demise of a people she knew.

Sabtu, 25 April 2020

Laid-off workers to benefit from Pre-Employment Card Program by Fardah

Jakarta, April 21, 2020 (ANTARA) - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered massive layoffs globally, including Indonesia, hammering industries, particularly in the tourism sector, and forcing closures of schools, hotels, restaurants, amusement centers, and factories, and people to stay home.
The Indonesian government has projected unemployment in Indonesia to rise by five million in the face of the economic pressure caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The forecast aligns with Indonesia's economic growth in its worst-case scenario that is expected to contract, according to Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF) of the Financial Ministry Febrio Nathan Kacaribu.

In the baseline scenario, the national economic growth would decline to 2.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), and this would result in an additional 2.9 million becoming jobless, he had stated on April 20, 2020.

The government will make all-out efforts to maintain economic stability amid pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic to contain the impact on the nation’s unemployment rate, he remarked.

Earlier, Chief of the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Response Doni Monardo noted that some 1.6 million workers were laid off and forced to take unpaid leave due to the pandemic.

"Reports from ministers show that 1.6 million workers have been laid off and forced to take unpaid leave, and that pre-employment cards must be issued to them soon," he stated following a limited meeting led by President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace on April 7.

COVID-19 deals crushing blow to MSMEs by Fardah


Jakarta, April 25, 2020 - The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has not just attacked people, but also indirectly battered the Indonesian economy, leaving micro-, small-, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), the country’s economic backbone, struggling for survival.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, MSMEs contributed 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employed around 97 percent of Indonesia’s workforce.

Based on the data from the Industry Ministry, a total of 43,016 small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employing at least 149,858 workers, the SMEs are located in various provinces, including South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Maluku, West Java, East Java, Lampung, and Banten.

Few MSMEs have been quick to reorient their businesses to meet the demand for equipment, such as face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), in the fight against COVID-19.

Villagers in Ogan Komering Ilir District (OKI) of South Sumatra Province, for instance, have shifted from weaving mats to producing cloth masks, which are in high demand as the authorities have ordered people to wear masks in wake of the outbreak.

"Since President Joko Widodo mandated the use of masks for anyone who goes (out) or is active outside of the home, the Menang Raya Village community has produced 8,000 pieces of cloth masks,” Suparedy, chief of Menang Raya Village, said recently. 

Jumat, 24 April 2020

COVID-19 forces change in Indonesia's Ramadhan, Idul Fitri traditions by Fardah

Jakarta, April 24, 2020 (ANTARA) - The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forced people all over the world to change their way of life, with many nations imposing a series of restrictions to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Travel enthusiasts have been forced to stay at home with most airways stopping operations temporarily and many countries and cities restricting entry of foreigners. Meanwhile, students have been told to study at home, and employees have taken to working from home.

Indonesian Muslims, who constitute nearly 90 percent of the country’s population of 270 million, have also been forced to change their tradition of praying in mosques during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan, which began on April 24 this year.

Normally, during this month-long period of fasting, Indonesian Muslims break their fast at sunset with relatives, friends, or colleagues in restaurants or hotels, but this year, that has been rendered impossible due to many restaurants closing or only serving take-away food.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is also set to change festivities in the post-Ramadhan period, when Muslims head to their hometowns for celebrating Idul Fitri with relatives.

Every year, there is a mass exodus as millions of people leave big cities and head to their regional hometowns for Idul Fitri. This exodus is referred to as ‘mudik’. Last year, around 20 million people embarked on this post-Ramadhan exodus.

This year, Idul Fitri will fall on May 24 and 25. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Government has banned ‘mudik’ and imposed restriction and sanctions to prevent people from journeying to their hometowns.

Selasa, 14 April 2020

Breaking the chain of COVID-19 transmission

Jakarta, April 14, 2020 (ANTARA) - Indonesia, which declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency ever since it emerged in March, has finally accorded the pandemic national disaster status as it has now spread to all 34 provinces in the country.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) signed a letter (number 12/2020), dated 13 April, 2020, on the national disaster status and the appointment of head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Doni Monardo, to lead the COVID-19 task force.

The Task Force for the Accelerated Handling of COVID-19 will work on mitigating the impact of the pandemic through coordinated effort with the concerned ministries, government agencies, and regional administrations.

Jokowi has also assigned governors, district heads, and city mayors as heads of the COVID-19 task forces in their respective regions. While drawing up regional policies, they will be required to refer to the policies formulated by the central government.

As of April 14, Indonesia has reported 4,839 confirmed cases. While the death toll from the contagion has reached 459, a total of 426 patients have completely recovered from the infection.

On March 31, President Jokowi signed Government Regulation No. 21 of 2020 on the imposition of Large-Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) measures to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission in the country.

Guidelines have been set forth for local governments for implementing PSBB in the Minister of Health's Regulation (Permenkes) No. 9 of 2020 on accelerating the response to the COVID-19 crisis.

As per the health minister's regulation,PSBB applications submitted by local governments need to be accompanied with data on the number of confirmed cases and maps of their distribution, among other things.

Senin, 13 April 2020

COVID-19: Indonesians overseas being monitored, assisted by Fardah

Jakarta, April 13, 2020 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is continuing to battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak with 4,557 confirmed cases reported across 34 provinces, along with 399 deaths and 380 recoveries, as of April 13, 2020.

To curb infections, the government has imposed large-scale social distancing measures, banned any kind of activities that involve gathering of people, closed tourist and amusement centers as well as places of worship, and ordered students to study and employees to work from their homes.

While the country wages war against the deadly virus at home, the government has also promised to protect and help Indonesian citizens studying, working, or visiting overseas.

With their countries of residence or travel destinations imposing lockdowns or quarantines, sealing borders, and banning or restricting international flights to slow the spread of the virus, many Indonesian nationals have been left “trapped” or “stranded”.

The Indonesian Government has vowed that the safety and protection of Indonesian nationals overseas remains its highest priority.

"We have provided assistance in more than 1,600 cases involving Indonesian nationals abroad, and support has been provided by our representatives," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi told the press on March 26.

Amid the global spike in the number of coronavirus patients, authorities in foreign countries had earlier appealed to Indonesians abroad to return to Indonesia in view of the risk of flight cancellations owing to the imposition of travel restrictions. But, many of them could not make it due to various reasons.

Sabtu, 11 April 2020

Indonesia not alone in fight against COVID-19 pandemic by Fardah

Jakarta, April 10, 2020 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is not alone in its battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as several nations have offered assistance to the country although they are also facing a similar ordeal.

"Only if we are together we can deal with this (coronavirus outbreak),” President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on April 10, 2020 — more than a month after he announced the country’s first two confirmed COVID-19 cases (March 2, 2020).

Indonesia has so far received assistance from at least nine countries for ensuring the smooth supply of medical equipment to accelerate efforts to contain the pandemic.

“Government-to-government assistance is coming from nine countries, namely China, Japan, the US, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told the press via video conference on April 9, 2020.

In addition, Indonesia has received support from various international organizations and entities, namely the WHO, ADB, IAEA, UNDP, IOM, Global Fund, and UNICEF.

Furthermore, Indonesia has recorded assistance from 42 private and non-governmental organizations from nine countries, namely China, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, and Sweden.

"Most of the assistance comprises masks, rapid test kits, and protective equipment," Retno informed.

Indonesia has said it urgently needs protective equipment, masks, rapid diagnostic kits, dacron swabs, ventilators, RT-PCR kits and reagents, and thermometers.

"These seven medical devices are the most urgently needed by Indonesia and it is the concern of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate them in the future," said Daniel Tumpal Simanjuntak from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is helping coordinate international assistance to deal with COVID-19.

Protective medical gear are, at present, the most needed by Indonesia, which has lost at least 26 doctors and several nurses to COVID-19 while treating infected patients.

The country has been facing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers fighting on the frontlines of the battle against the deadly virus. Hence, the nation has been racing to procure adequate PPE.

Kamis, 09 April 2020

Global cooperation crucial in fight against COVID-19 by Fardah

Jakarta, April 9, 2020 The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected 209 countries and territories across the world, with 1,529,968 people testing positive for the virus and 89,426 succumbing to it as of April 9, 2020.

While many countries struggle to contain COVID-19 transmission, reports have emerged in transnational media recently about allegations against the US of redirecting 200,000 Germany-bound masks for its own use, a move that has been condemned as "modern piracy”.

Last week, there was a report about the U.S. government taking over Chinese supplies of medical equipment ordered by Brazil to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The US Government, however, has denied the two reports.

The reports of the US “hijacking” medical supplies indicate that even the superpower is struggling to stem the spread of infections on its own and is depending on assistance from others.

Over the last 100 days, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in wealthy nations, and it is likely to devastate poorer and more vulnerable countries, socially and economically, by disrupting the global supply chain.

“Without help and action now, poor countries and vulnerable communities could suffer massive devastation,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, said on April 9, 2020.

During a virtual extraordinary summit of G20 leaders, chaired by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on March 26, 2020, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for collaboration on coronavirus control and prevention.

He asked world leaders to facilitate trade of vaccines as well as other medical equipment by easing tariffs on their import and export.

"The G20 must actively lead efforts to find the anti-virus and medication for COVID-19, of course, hand in hand with the WHO," he advised.

Selasa, 07 April 2020

INDONESIA'S REGIONAL HEAD ELECTIONS POSTPONED OVER COVID-19 PANDEMIC by Fardah

Jakarta, 7/4/2020 (Antara) - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought several countries to a near standstill, as activities involving the congregation of public, including music concerts, sports games, conferences, tourism bourses, and festivals, are either postponed or cancelled.
In Indonesia, the COVID-19 crisis has left Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan with no choice but to announce on March 11 the postponement of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the 2020 Jakarta E-Prix, earlier scheduled for June this year.

On April 6, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto had also decided to postpone the country's largest trade exhibition, the Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) 2020, scheduled for September, to stem the further transmission of COVID-19.

The fourth simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada), earlier scheduled for September this year, was another major event that was postponed owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

The simultaneous pilkada was planned to be held in 270 regions across the country to elect governors in nine provinces, district heads in 224 districts, and mayors in 37 cities on September 23, 2020. The number of eligible voters in the fourth pilkada reached at least 105 million.

The decision to postpone pilkada was made during a hearing of Commission II of the House of Representatives (DPR), with attendees comprising officials of the Home Affairs Ministry, Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU), General Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), and the Code of Ethic Council for the Implementation of Elections (DKPP) in Jakarta on March 30, 2020.

The DPR, Home Affairs Ministry, and KPU will discuss and decide when it will be organized, Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tanjung, chairman of Commission II, stated following the hearing.

Earlier, on March 8, six days after President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had announced the first two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, KPU Chairman Arief Budiman noted that 270 regions were ready to hold the 2020 pilkada.

"Three aspects to be prepared ahead of the local elections to date are regulations, human resources (HR), and the budget," he stated while addressing a seminar on "Seeking Quality Leaders and of Integrity towards the 2020 Peaceful Elections" organized by the University of Jember, East Java Province.