Tuesday, September 21, 2021

INDONESIA TO FOCUS ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY DURING G20 PRESIDENCY by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 22/9/2021(ANTARA) - Indonesia will assume the Presidency of G20 in late 2021 for the first time since the forum was established in 1999. Indonesia was invited to join the forum in 2008.

Italy, the current G20 president, will hand over the presidency to Indonesia at the Rome Summit, which is scheduled on October 30-31, 2021.

Indonesia was elected to the G20 Presidency for 2022 during the G20 Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November 2020.

It will hold the G20 Presidency, themed Recover Together, Recover Stronger to reflect the spirit of collective recovery, from December 1, 2021 till November 2022.

The Group of 20 or G20 is an international forum that brings together the worlds major economies. Its members account for more than 80 percent of global GDP (gross domestic product), 75 percent of global trade, and 60 percent of the population of the planet.

The G20 members comprise Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.

In fact, Indonesia, the worlds fourth most populous nation, is the only ASEAN (Association of the Southeast Asian Nations) state that was invited to join as a G20 member.

To ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the G20 events that will be hosted by Indonesia next year, President Joko Widodo has issued decree No. 12 of 2021 on the National Organizing Committee (OC) of the Indonesian G20 Presidency.

The OC members include Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, as chairman I of Sherpa Track; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno L. P. Marsudi, as chairman II of Sherpa Track; Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, as chairman I of Finance Track; the Governor of Bank Indonesia as chairman II of Finance Track; Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security, Mahfud MD, as chairman of events; and Minister of Communication and Informatics, Johnny G. Plate, as chairman of communication and media for the G20 Summit.

Indonesia will have seven priority agendas for the finance track for Indonesia's G20 Presidency in 2022, according to Minister Indrawati.

 

 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Puisi

Coretan untuk Penantara

Aku tak pandai menulis puisi
Juga tak biasa berfantasi
Ku hanya  sampaikan coretan sederhana
Sebagai tanda ku turut serta
Berlayar dalam bahtera  Penantara

Di penghujung usia kita
Tetap menjalin silaturahim lewat WA
Tutup ruang  syak wasangka
Hilangkan rasa dengki dan iri
Pelihara kesucian  hati

Kenanglah  hal yang indah-indah saja
Saat muda dan berkarya di Antara
Bekerja  siang dan malam
Menjalin kebersamaan
Serta bercanda bersama teman-teman

Buang jauh kenangan pahit
Agar sehat dan jauh dari penyakit
Selagi masih ada rezeki, jangan pelit
Mari selalu berbagi, walau hanya sedikit

Biarkan hal-hal sepele berlalu
Tak berguna kita terpaku
Mari saling menyapa dan tersenyum
Hidup terlalu singkat untuk muram dan murung

Wadah bagi para lansia
Yang terkadang ceriwis, kadang ceria
Ruang untuk melepas rindu dan bercanda
Damai dan maju selalu Penantara tercinta

Pondok Gede, 31 Agustus 2021
Fardah


Dirundung COVID-19

Di penghujung tahun  dua ribu sembilan belas
Muncul hantaman yang sangat keras
Tanpa diduga, dunia dilanda COVID
Yang membuat  kehidupan morat marit

COVID membuyarkan rencana dan impian
Banyak orang terpapar bergantian
Korbanya  pria mau pun wanita
Tak memandang  tua  atau muda

Rumah sakit penuh  berjejalan
Hingga tenaga kesehatan kewalahan
COVID-19  banyak memakan  korban
Menyebar petaka dan kemalangan

Sejumlah dokter dan perawat pun gugur
Tak sedikit anak-anak melihat orangtua dikubur
Mendadak menjadi  yatim  dan hati hancur

Perekonomian dunia  terjungkal
Pariwisata global mati suri
Manusia  dalam rumah terkunci

Orang miskin bertambah papa
Mereka tak bekerja dan tak berdaya
Anehnya,  banyak pejabat makin kaya raya
 
Namun, takdir membawa hikmah
Keluarga makin dekat
Alam mulai bersih dan sehat
 
Pondok Gede,  14 September 2021
Fardah

Bionarasi:
Fardah terlahir di Surabaya,  Jawa Timur pada  17 November 1961, dari ibu kelahiran Gresik dan ayah dari Banjarmasin. Tumbuh dan besar di Kota Pahlawan,  sekeluarga pindah ke Jakarta pada tahun 1979 karena tuntutan pekerjaan ayah.
Setelah  lulus Program Diploma Inggris, Universitas Indonesia (UI) di Kampus UI Rawamangun pada tahun 1984,  langsung mulai bekerja di LKBN Antara di bagian Redaksi Inggris.
Bekerja aktif sebagai redaktur di Antara hingga tahun 2019,  membuat impian menjadi nyata, yaitu mengunjungi berbagai negara , mengenali sejumlah suku bangsa, dan menikmati keindahan alam semesta.



Monday, September 6, 2021

INDONESIA PUSHES VACCINATION DRIVE FURTHER IN COVID-19 FIGHT by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 7/9/2021 (ANTARA) - After a long battle since June 2021, Indonesia has finally emerged from the second tsunami wave of COVID-19 infections.

This has been made possible through the assistance of all stakeholders at the national level and several countries that have donated vaccines, medicines, oxygen, and other medical equipment to aid Indonesia's COVID-handling efforts.

Triggered by the Delta variant, the drastic COVID-19 spike overwhelmed the nation, with daily cases hitting a record 56,757 on July 15, 2021. The highest daily deaths were recorded at 2,069 on July 27, 2021.

Following the implementation of strict restrictions on peoples movement since July 3, 2021 and an accelerated vaccination program, the country managed to bring down daily cases to 7,201 on September 7, 2021, bringing the total COVID-19 tally to 4,140,634. Meanwhile, the daily deaths stood at 683, taking the total toll to 137,156.

The Health Ministry highlighted the positive trend in developments pertaining to efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, as evidenced by a decline in the case count.

The number of confirmed cases have declined up to 25 percent, the mortality rate has gone down by 37 percent, and the positivity rate has decreased by 10.36 percent, while the recovery rate has continued to increase, it said.

"The key to successful handling of COVID-19 is strongly influenced by several factors, including the vaccination program, which plays a vital and very important role," Vice President Maruf Amin said while reviewing a vaccination program at UI Salemba in Jakarta on September 7, 2021.

Amin appealed to people, who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, to continue to follow strict health protocols. He also asked regional authorities to intensify the 3Ts (testing, tracing, and treatment).

Despite geographical constraints, the government is targeting to vaccinate 208 million people, or 77 percent of the total population, against COVID-19 before the end of this year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

COVID WAKE UP CALL FOR INDONESIA TO IMPROVE MEDICAL INDUSTRY CAPACITYby Fardah


 

Jakarta, 1/9/2021 (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo, in a video that later went viral, visited a pharmacy in Bogor, West Java on July 23, 2021 to buy oseltamivir and other COVID-19 medicines only to be told they were not available.

He was told that the medicines were not available as the pharmacy had not received supplies of the anti-virus drugs for a long time.

In July this year, Indonesia saw a record jump in COVID-19 cases due to the spread of the Delta variant in Java and Bali in particular.

The country's daily COVID-19 cases hit a record of 56,757 on July 15, 2021, while the daily deaths touched 2,069 on July 27, 2021.

The grave situation forced the government to enforce strict peoples movement restrictions (PPKM), or semi lockdowns, as the Widodo administration avoided using the term lockdown in handling the pandemic.

The drastic COVID-19 spike overwhelmed the nation. Hospitals became overloaded with COVID-19 patients and the demand for drugs and medical oxygen jumped significantly, forcing the country to import them in larger quantities and accept the helping hand offered by other countries.

More worryingly, Indonesia barely produced three percent of medicines and medical equipment, while the remaining 97 percent were imported, particularly raw materials, according to Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

"For medicines, only three percent are produced domestically. We still import 97 percent (of them), since out of the 1,809 drug items in the e-catalog, only 56 drug items are produced domestically," the minister stated at a virtual press conference held to discuss efforts to bolster the use of domestically made medical equipment products.

Out of the 10 major medicinal raw materials, only two are produced domestically, specifically Clopidogrel and Paracetamol, while the rest are still imported, the minister informed. Similarly, most of the country's medical devices are imported, he added.

He then expressed concern over the high percentage of imports in the procurement of medical equipment, medicines, and raw materials for medicines.

Indonesia accelerates vaccination drive to achieve herd immunity by Fardah


 Jakarta, Aug 31, 2021 (Antara) - Indonesia has seen a continuous decline in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases lately thanks to the enforcement of strict public activity restrictions (PPKM), in Java and Bali Islands in particular, since July 3, 2021.

Besides, the authorities have also carried out massive efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic through increased testing, close-contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine as well as enforcement of health protocols to break the chain of virus transmission.

After nearly two months of implementing the semi-lockdown, the country recorded 5,436 new cases on August 30, 2021, bringing the total COVID-19 tally to 4,079,267, while the daily deaths stood at 568, taking the death toll to 132,491.

The figures showed a sharp decline compared to 56,757 fresh confirmed cases recorded on July 15, 2021, as Indonesia's daily COVID-19 cases hit a record due to the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The highest daily deaths were recorded at 2,069 on July 27, 2021.

Despite the decline in new cases, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on August 30, 2021, announced that once again PPKM would be extended until September 6, 2021.

Several regions have seen improvement in COVID-19 handling, hence the government has lowered the PPKM level from 4 to 3 for Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek), Surabaya, Bandung, Malang, and Solo, while Semarang's level has been reduced to 2.

In general, the COVID-19 handling in Java and Bali has shown improvement, hence the government will loosen PPKM in stages, the President said.

Despite the relaxation of the PPKM implementation, the public has been told to remain vigilant and adhere to the health protocols, including wearing face masks and keeping a safe distance.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

INDONESIA REDOUBLES EFFORTS TO REDUCE CHILDHOOD STUNTING by Fardah


Jakarta, Aug  25, 2021 - Indonesia's children are its future and its most valuable asset. In fact, the present condition of children under the age of five is a reflection of Indonesia’s future.

 

Therefore, the government is eager to make sure that the younger generation grows healthy and becomes a golden generation by prioritizing and accelerating a drastic reduction in stunting rate among Indonesian children.

 

The national stunting rate, recorded at 37 percent in 2013, declined to 30.8 percent in 2018, and 27.6 percent in 2019. Currently, the stunting rate is around 27.7 percent. The government has set a target of reducing the stunting rate to 14 percent by 2024.

 

Four Indonesian districts have continued to report a very high number of cases of stunting, a growth disorder caused by chronic malnutrition in children — Jeneponto (41.3 percent) and Bantaeng districts (21 percent) of South Sulawesi, Minahasa district (38.6 percent) of North Sulawesi, and South Nias district (57 percent) of North Sumatra.

 

However, the government has been facing a huge challenge in the implementation of the stunting reduction program owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that started in early 2020.

 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a challenge in reducing the stunting rates. Achievements from the last seven years must be maintained to achieve the 14-percent target by the end of 2024," Vice President Ma'ruf Amin noted at the virtual National Coordination Meeting on stunting prevention on August 23, 2021.

 

The government is determined that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the stunting reduction program continues and is expedited, and has asked all regional heads to assess all work programs, activities, and local government budgets. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

GOVT TAKING CARE OF CHILDREN ORPHANED BY COVID-19 by Fardah


 

Jumat, 20 Ags 2021 20:44

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Gahazy Pranatayudha, 12 years old boy living in Pemalang, Central Java, suddenly became an orphan as he lost both his parents to COVID-19 this August.

His father succumbed to the coronavirus on August 6, 2021, and two days later, on August 8, his mother also died of the virus, leaving the only child in the family all alone.

In Samarinda, East Kalimantan, June 10, 2021, was the saddest day for the Mansyur family, as Dila, Manda and Ade lost their parents, Mansyur and his wife, who both died of COVID-19 at a hospital in less than 24 hours. Their father was buried at 1:00 p.m. local time, and in the evening, their mother also passed away.

In East Java Province, 5,082 children lost their parents to the virus, according to Andriyanto, head of the local women's empowerment and child protection office on August 3.

"Those children will be counseled by psychologists who will assess them and help strengthen their mentality," he said.

A total of 11,045 children had become orphans due to COVID-19 as of July 20 this year. As per provisional data, Indonesia has around four million orphans, not including children who were victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data will continue to be updated with inputs from local governments, the Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini reported.

Her ministry is developing concepts and models for handling children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19, the minister said.

"It has been mandated in the 1945 Constitution that the poor and neglected children be looked after by the state. At the Social Affairs Ministry, the handling is carried out by the Directorate General of Social Rehabilitation," Rismaharini said on August 13, 2021.

The handling of orphans must involve various related parties, as its implementation must have a legal and budgetary basis, she pointed out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

INDONESIA MARKS 76TH INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH LOW-KEY CELEBRATIONS y Fardah

Jakarta, 18/8/2021 (ANTARA) - For the second consecutive year, the Indonesian people celebrated the country's Independence Day, which falls on August 17, at home as the nation was forced to hold events virtually owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the 76th anniversary of Indonesia's independence was held amid the strict enforcement of level 4 public activity restrictions (PPKM), imposed by the government since July 3, 2021 to tackle an alarming surge in cases caused by the more contagious and deadly Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Owing to the pandemic, the annual tradition of holding competitions for people across the country to celebrate Independence day had to be discarded as such events usually pull large crowds.

According to the National Task Force for COVID-19 Handling, Indonesia added 20,741 new cases in a single day on August 17, 2021, bringing the total tally to 3,892,479, and recorded 1,180 new deaths, taking the total death toll to 120,013 deaths.

The data showed that restriction measures have managed to bring down daily cases from a high of 56,757 on July 15, 2021, the task force said.

On Tuesday midnight, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) paid tribute to fallen freedom fighters at Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery, South Jakarta, as part of the Independence Day commemorations.

"We pledge and promise that the struggle of those heroes is also our struggle, and their path of services is also our path," he emphasized.

Friday, August 13, 2021

DOUBLE PROTECTION FOR INDONESIAN FRONTLINERS AMID COVID-19 SPIKE by Fardah

 

Jakarta, 13/8 / 2021(ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has been working hard to provide all healthcare workers booster shots amid a surge in COVID-19 infections caused by the highly transmissible and deadly Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The national task force for COVID-19 handling on August 12, 2021 recorded 36,637 new confirmed COVID-19 daily cases, bringing the total tally to 3,247,715. Meanwhile, with 1,466 additional fatalities, the total death toll climbed to 113,664.

The figures are considered still high, although they have declined thanks to the government enforcing strict people's movement restrictions (PPKM) or semi-lockdowns since July 3, 2021.

Indonesia's daily COVID-19 cases had hit a record of 56,757 on July 15, 2021, while the daily deaths had touched 2,069 on July 27, 2021.

The Health Ministry has cited the Delta variant and poor compliance with health protocols as the main factors that triggered the drastic surge.

Many healthcare workers, particularly doctors and nurses, who practically have had no chance to rest as the country's COVID-19 cases have not flattened since early 2020, have fallen victim to the new coronavirus variant.

According to data from the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), as of July 17 this year, 1,323 Indonesian healthcare workers have succumbed to COVID-19, and more than three thousand doctors have been exposed to the virus, Moh Adib Khumaidi, chairman of IDI's mitigation team, said recently.

Khumaidi called for the launch of a movement to support and protect healthcare workers across regions. The IDI will also collaborate with other organizations, such as the Indonesian Nurses' Association (PPNI), to promote the call to support healthcare workers, he said.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Amid COVID spread, 'semi-lockdown' expanded to 21 provinces


 Jakarta , July 30, 2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia's most populated islands, Java and Bali, have been in "semi-lockdown" mode since July 3, 2021 due to the second COVID-19 wave, triggered by the Delta variant, which has pummeled the nation since mid-June 2021.

With COVID-19 spikes reported in areas outside Java and Bali, the government has decided to expand public mobility restrictions in several islands.

As a result, students are studying online from home. Employees are working from home as most offices have been temporarily closed, except for essential work. All malls, department stores, tourist sites and amusement centers, as well as places of worship have also been closed. Restaurants are only serving take-away orders. People have been advised to remain at home, except for emergency and limited purposes.

Domestic travelers boarding flights are being asked to present vaccine cards, showing they have at least taken one vaccine dose, and negative results of a RT-PCR test, taken at the most two days (48 hours) prior to departure.

Travelers using land or sea transportation, including trains or private cars, are also being asked to present vaccine cards, and negative results of RT-PCR tests, taken two days prior to departure, or negative results of rapid antigen tests, taken at the most one day (24 hours) prior to departure.

The country on July 30, 2021, reported 41,168 new cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 3,372,374. Meanwhile, with 1,759 additional fatalities, the death toll climbed to 92,311.

With a population of over 270 million, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous nation.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has admitted that the abrupt entry of the Delta variant in Indonesia has caught the nation by surprise. The Delta variant has a very high transmission rate and causes more severe symptoms than the original virus type, he said.

"Back in January, February, March, April, and May (2021), COVID-19 (transmission) had started to decline. If the coronavirus disease (spread) went down, the economy would definitely grow. It was actually apparent, yet unexpectedly, there was something called the Delta variant, a new type of variant of the disease," the President said on July 30, 2021.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Oxygen aid flows in as Indonesia fights for breath by Fardah


 Jakarta, July 20, 2021 (Antara) - For healthy people, oxygen is everywhere, free and taken for granted. But, for COVID-19 patients in Indonesia, medical oxygen has become a precious and life-saving necessity amid a devastating new wave of infections triggered by the highly infectious Delta variant.

In the latest infection spike, pneumonia and low blood oxygen levels, or hypoxaemia, have been common in patients.

COVID-19 affects patients' respiratory system and causes shortness of breath as it disturbs the function of the lungs to allow the body to absorb oxygen from the air and expel carbon dioxide.

According to the task force for COVID-19 handling, Indonesia on July 20, 2021 added 38,325 confirmed cases, bringing the total tally so far to 2,959,058.

With 29,791 daily recoveries, the total number of people recovering from the infection touched 2,323,666. Meanwhile, 1,280 people succumbed to the virus in a single day, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic in Indonesia on March 2, 2020 to 76,200.

To curb the infection surge, the government imposed emergency movement restrictions on the islands of Java and Bali from July 3 to July 20, 2021. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continuing to remain high, the emergency restrictions have been extended further until July 25.

The spike in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has led to a fivefold increase in the country's daily oxygen requirement from 400 tons to two thousand tons.

"We have reported to the cabinet that the demand for oxygen has increased very rapidly from 400 tons per day. Now it has increased to almost two thousand tons per day," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin informed at an online press conference on July 16, 2021.

On July 5, 2021, Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, in his capacity as coordinator of the emergency restrictions, said that the availability of medical oxygen cylinders matters and must be addressed immediately.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Foreign aid starts arriving to help Indonesia fight COVID surge

Jakarta, July 18, 2021 -  With Indonesia recording an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases, several countries have stepped in to provide vaccines and medical equipment to help the nation fight the latest spike in infections.

Fifteen days since the imposition of public movement restrictions, Indonesia's COVID-19 cases have continued to explode, with the country adding 51,952 daily cases on Saturday, bringing the tally to 2,832,755.

With 1,092 people succumbing to the virus in a single day, the death toll climbed to 72,489. Meanwhile, the number of daily recoveries reached 27,903, taking the total tally so far to 2,232,394.

Jakarta contributed the highest number of daily cases at 10,168 on Saturday. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, with a recent survey showing that 91.9 percent of COVID-19 cases in Jakarta have gone undetected.

The survey was conducted by the pandemic team from University of Indonesia's Faculty of Public Health (FKM UI), in collaboration with the Jakarta Provincial Health Office, Eijkman Institute, and CDC Indonesia.

According to the serological survey conducted from March 15 - March 31, 2021, the detection rate of COVID-19 cases is very low, as only 8.1 percent cases have been detected, while 91.9 percent have remained undetected.

The number of cases in the population could be much higher since only 8.1 percent cases have been reported or detected in the system, epidemiologist Pandu Riono from FKM UI said on July 14, 2021.

To deal with the current COVID-19 spike, the Indonesian government has imposed emergency people's movement restrictions (PPKM) in Bali and Java Islands from July 3 to July 20, 2021, with the support of the police and military personnel.

The emergency restrictions are being coordinated by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut, Binsar Pandjaitan, who has assured that the government has calculated the worst-case scenario regarding the COVID-19 surge.

Monday, July 5, 2021

COVID-19 BATTERED INDONESIA GRATEFUL FOR VACCINE DONATIONS by Fardah


Jakarta, 6/7/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia has been struggling in the fight against the second COVID-19 wave triggered by the new Delta variant that has increasingly overwhelmed the country's healthcare facilities over the last several weeks.

Despite all-out efforts made by authorities and healthcare workers, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases has continued to spike significantly. The number of new cases hit another record, at 29,745, on July 5, 2021, taking the tally to 2,313,829 cases.

The COVID-19 Response Task Force reported that with 14,416 people recovering from COVID-19 in a single day, the total count of recoveries had reached 1,942,690 since the first infections were reported in the country in March 2020.

Some 558 people succumbed to the infection in a single day, bringing the death toll to 61,140.

The number of active cases, or patients receiving treatment and conducting self-isolation, reached 309,999, while the number of suspected cases stood at 79,808.

Jakarta recorded the highest single-day surge in cases at 10,903, followed by 6,971 in West Java, 3,447 in Central Java, 1,543 in East Java, 1,465 in Yogyakarta, and 541 in Banten.

To curb the spike, the government has imposed emergency measures to restrict the people's activities in Java and Bali on July 3-20, 2021.

The national vaccination program has also been expedited by administering over one million vaccine jabs in a day to meet the nation's target of inoculating 181.5 million people in order to develop herd immunity by the end of this year.

As of July 5, 2021, over 14 million Indonesians had been fully vaccinated, while some 32.3 million others had received the first shots.

As of June 20, 2021, Indonesia had received 104,728,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, comprising 94.5 million doses of CoronaVac bought from China's Sinovac, 8.228 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine received from the WHO-coordinated COVAX Facility, and two million doses of China's Sinopharm vaccine bought by the private sector to support the government's vaccination campaign.

While the nation is racing against time to save lives from the pandemic, vaccines donations by foreign countries which have, so far, included Japan, the US, the Netherlands, and Australia, are highly appreciated.

On July 1, 2021, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin thanked the governments of Japan, Australia, and the United States for providing vaccines and monetary assistance to support Indonesia's fight against COVID-19.

Indonesia received 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

FACED WITH RISING INFECTIONS, INDONESIA DOUBLES DOWN ON RESTRICTIONS by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 4/7/2021 (ANTARA) - With the second COVID-19 wave leading to a drastic spike in infections in several regions, particularly Jakarta and other cities on Java Island, the Indonesian government has imposed restrictions on public activities starting Saturday.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged the public to stay calm during the implementation of the emergency restrictions.

He has also called on the public to remain disciplined in adhering to the health protocols and support the work of government officials and volunteers handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I call on the public to remain calm and alert to comply with existing regulations," Widodo said.

With sound cooperation from every individual and the will of Allah SWT, Indonesia can suppress the spread of COVID-19 and restore people's lives quickly, the President added.

The emergency people's activity restrictions (PPKM), which will be in place till July 20, 2021, are aimed at reducing daily coronavirus infections to below 10 thousand. They entail a work-from-home guidance for all non-essential sectors and the continued closure of schools and universities.

During the emergency restrictions, public amenities like beaches, parks, tourist attractions, and places of worship will remain closed, while restaurants will be allowed to only offer take-away or delivery services.

On Saturday, the first day of the imposition of the emergency restrictions, the main roads of Jakarta, such as Sudirman and Thamrin avenues, bore a deserted look as police installed barricades at several toll roads and intersection points on main roads to limit the mobility of residents. Only individuals working in the essential sector are allowed to venture outside the home.

Practically quarantining the capital city by significantly limiting those wanting to go out or enter the capital city, Jakarta Police, supported by military personnel, implemented isolation measures at 63 entry and exit points for Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jadetabek).

Overall, the first day of imposition of emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM) in Java and Bali went smoothly, officials said.

Indonesia saw a record increase in daily COVID-19 cases on July 3, 2021, with 27,913 new infections and 493 deaths reported across the country. The number of single-day recoveries stood at 13,282, while active cases were pegged at 281,677.

Since the government announced the first COVID-19 cases on March 2, 2020, the tally of infections has so far reached 2,256,851, while the death toll has touched 60,027.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

INDONESIA LOOKS TO INDIA FOR LESSONS AMID SECOND COVID WAVE by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 1/7/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia has turned to India for lessons in battling COVID-19 in the wake of a second wave of infections triggered by the new Delta variant.

The countrys COVID-19 cases have hit a record, with daily cases reaching 21,807 on June 30, 2021, bringing the total tally to 2,178,272. Meanwhile, the death toll has climbed to 58,491.

The Indonesian government announced the nations first coronavirus cases on March 2, 2020.

In comparison, the Indian Health Ministry on May 6, 2021 reported 3,980 daily deaths, which took the national total to 230,168, and 412,262 daily cases, which brought India's caseload since the start of the pandemic to 21.1 million.

According to Indonesia, India has been quite successful in curbing the recent spike in cases, with daily infections falling to 50 thousand of late.

"There is a lesson that we can learn from there," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on June 30, 2021.

Over these past few weeks, Jakarta and many other provinces across Indonesia have witnessed an alarming resurgence of COVID-19 cases amid the government's ongoing vaccination drives.

In flattening the COVID-19 curve, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, for instance, has urged local residents to abstain from frequent travel.

Meanwhile, in response to the alarming resurgence of new COVID-19 cases in the country, President Jokowi himself has earlier highlighted the necessity for state institutions and all levels of government to be on the same wavelength.

Such a fast and appropriate response necessitates state institutions, the central government, and regional governments to be on the same frequency, he  emphasized.

Indonesia moves to protect children as COVID-19 cases spike by Fardah


 Jakarta , June 30, 2021(ANTARA) - With Indonesia’s second COVID-19 wave affecting a significant number of children, the government has been quick to decide on opening vaccinations for the 12-17 age group.

According to the COVID-19 task force, the number of coronavirus cases involving children reached 12.6 percent, accounting for more than 250 thousand of the total 2,033,421 cases, as of June 23, 2021.

Data from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection shows that as of June 2, 2021, children from the 6-17 age group constituted 5.6 percent of the total COVID-19 cases, while 2.3 percent of children up to the age of five years were affected by COVID-19.

One out of every eight Indonesians exposed to COVID-19 is under 18 years old, and children fall in the category that is at risk of succumbing to the coronavirus, the data shows. One of every 83 Indonesians dying of COVID-19 is a child, the government data further shows.

Children can contract and die of COVID-19 based on the presence of comorbidities, such as obesity, tuberculosis, and hypertension, according to chief of the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI), Aman Pulungan.

This should draw attention and become a reason to remain vigilant and for asymptomatic people to conduct self-isolation, he added.

The IDAI has recommended that 10 percent of the children be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Besides, all activities of children in the 0-18 age group should be conducted online, it has advised.

It has further recommended preventing children from venturing out of their homes, teaching them to remain disciplined in following the health protocols, immunizing them, and increasing breastfeeding to protect them from COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 cases among children has become a cause for major concern for the government, which is preparing to open vaccinations for children in the 12-17 age group.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has earlier revealed that his ministry is considering the use of the Sinovac and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children below 18 years of age.

Sinovac has been approved for the 3-17 age group, while Pfizer has obtained approval for the 12-17 age group.

Indonesia was expecting to receive Pfizer vaccines in June this year, and according to some reports, the Pfizer shipment from America has been delayed until August this year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

JAKARTA INTENSIFIES RESTRICTIONS AMID DRASTIC COVID-19 CASE SURGE by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 23/6/2021 (ANTARA) -  Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city, has witnessed records in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases since the last few weeks, compelling authorities to enforce stricter micro-scale public movement restrictions (PPKM) projected to stem transmission.

Jakarta recorded the addition of 5,014 new cases in a single day on June 21, 2021, thereby pushing the tally to 479,043 cases; 5,582 cases on June 20; and 4,895 cases on June 19, 2021, a drastic jump from 856 new cases on May 21, 2021.

Moreover, a total of 32,060 people were undergoing treatment or isolation on account of the COVID-19 infection, while 71 Jakartans had succumbed to the disease, thereby taking the death toll to 7,976 as of June 21, 2021. The COVID-19 recovery rate is still high, at 95.4 percent, while the mortality rate was recorded at 1.7 percent.

In fact, the COVID-19 spike not only occurred in Jakarta but also in several other provinces across Indonesia following the long holidays in May 2021 and the arrival of new COVID-19 variants, such as delta, from overseas.

"The top five highest increases in COVID-19 cases were found in the provinces of Jakarta, Central Java, West Java, Yogyakarta, and East Java," the country's COVID-19 handling task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito stated during an online press conference on June 15, 2021.

"Our focus is how to control the case surge in the hardest hit regions and to (ensure people) comply with health protocols and to impose mobility restrictions for domestic and overseas trips," Adisasmito, who later, on June 19, 2021, announced that he had contracted COVID-19 after visiting several of those affected regions.


Monday, June 21, 2021

INDONESIA STEPS UP EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE HERD IMMUNITY by Fardah


Jakarta, 21/6/2021 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has administered nearly 35.1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine as of June 19, 2021, with 12,212,906 people receiving their second jabs and 22,873,342 others receiving their first shots of the vaccine.

The government is targeting 40 million people and giving priority to healthcare workers, public service officers, and senior citizens in the first and second phases of the national vaccination program.

Overall, it aims to vaccinate at least 181.5 million citizens, or 70 percent of the population, to create herd immunity against the virus.

To speed up vaccinations, the government is working to expand the capacity of vaccination services offered to all citizens free of cost with allocations from its budget as well as funding from the private sector, notably by encouraging company-funded vaccinations for employees.

The government-funded vaccination program has been implemented since January 13, 2021, while the private sector-funded vaccination program called Gotong Royong kicked off on May 18 this year.

"It (Gotong Royong) is aimed at expanding the COVID-19 vaccination coverage. The government's vaccination program and the Gotong Royong program will not use the same vaccines. Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Novavac, and Pfizer cannot be used in the Gotong Royong (vaccination) program," the Health Ministry's spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccination, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said adding that China's Sinopharm and Cansino vaccines will be provided under the Gotong Royong program.

To vaccinate the targeted 181.5 million recipients under the national program, the government will require around 426 million vaccine doses.

Hence, the Health Ministry has urged people to not be picky about the COVID-19 vaccines offered by the government, saying the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared all currently authorized and recommended vaccines as safe.

At present, Indonesias total COVID-19 caseload exceeds 1.9 million and the number could spike due to the presence of new, more infectious COVID-19 variants.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

MSME digitization necessary to support Indonesia's economic recovery by Fardah


 Jakarta, June 3, 2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s 64.2 million micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) have contributed Rp8,573.89 trillion, or 61.07 percent, to its GDP (gross domestic product) as of March, 2021, as per data from the Cooperatives and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ministry.

MSMEs absorb 97 percent of the national work force, account for 60.4 percent of the total investment, and contribute 14.37 percent to export growth, data has shown.

Given their contribution, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has called MSMEs critical pillars of the Indonesian economy.

National Development Planning Minister/National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) head Suharso Monoarfa, however, wants MSMEs to play a broader role in boosting Indonesia’s economy.

"Some 99 percent of the businesses in Indonesia are dominated by MSMEs, which absorb 97 percent of the total number of workers, but MSMEs only contribute 57 percent to the national GDP," Monoarfa stated on May 26, 2021.

Despite various MSME development programs being conducted by ministries and state institutions, the results have yet to be optimal, he observed.

The minister drew attention to an evaluation of MSME programs from January, 2020 that pointed to moral hazards existing in the capital grants offered by ministries and state institutions to MSMEs.

"This is since it (a grant) does not have to be returned and utilized for non-business related purposes," he explained.

The National Development Planning Ministry/Bappenas, the Ministry of Finance, the SME and Cooperatives Ministry, and other concerned ministries and institutions will evaluate MSME development programs as a basis for budget allocation in 2022, he said.

He suggested that the role of the SME and Cooperatives Ministry, as the coordinator of the MSME development programs, be bolstered. Companies partnering with MSMEs should receive incentives, he added.

 Indeed, a great number of MSMEs in Indonesia are still facing several challenges.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

GLOBALIZATION, DEEPENING POLITICAL DIVIDE BRING TEST FOR PANCASILA by Fardah


 

The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has once again forced the Indonesian people to commemorate Pancasila Day virtually.

 

Wearing the traditional attire of South Kalimantan, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) led the commemoration ceremony, held in a "hybrid" manner, from the Bogor Presidential Palace, while high-ranking officials gathered in the yard of the Pancasila Building inside the Foreign Ministry compound in Jakarta, or joined in the celebrations from their offices.

 

Those who participated in the ceremony included chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, who read out the Pancasila text, and chief of the House of Representatives (DPR), Puan Maharani, who read out the preamble to the 1945 Constitution (UUD1945).

 

The Indonesian people have been commemorating the birth of the Pancasila ideology since 2017, following the signing of Presidential Decree no. 24 of 2016 by the President, who also declared  June 1 as a national holiday.

 

The Pancasila (Five Principles), which reflect the Indonesian state’s philosophy, were first articulated on June 1, 1945, in a speech delivered by Sukarno before the preparatory committee for Indonesia’s independence, sponsored by the Japanese colonizers.

 

Sukarno had argued that the future Indonesian state should be based on Five Principles: Indonesian nationalism; internationalism, or humanism; consent, or democracy; social prosperity; and, belief in one God. Indonesia proclaimed its independence on August 17, 1945, and Sukarno went on to become its first president.

 

Following a consensus among Indonesia’s founding fathers, the Pancasila, in a slightly altered order and amended wording, was enshrined in the 1945 Constitution, passed on August 18, 1945. The doctrine now envisaged belief in one God, a just and civilized humanity, Indonesian unity, democracy under the wise guidance of representative consultations, and social justice for all the people of Indonesia.

 

Friday, May 28, 2021

INCREASING AWARENESS OF INDONESIANS LIVING IN "DISASTER SUPERMARKET"


 

Jakarta, 28/5, 2021 (ANTARA) - Natural disasters are a day-to-day occurrence in Indonesia, as some 10 natural disasters occurred daily in January-March 2021, up from nine per day during 2020, of the total of 3,253 natural disasters that took place.

The world's largest archipelagic nation comprising over 17 thousand islands is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped region of converging tectonic plates and several volcanoes.

The country has four disaster clusters: geology and volcanology (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis); hydro-meteorology I (forest fires and drought), hydro-meteorology II (flash floods, landslides, and coastal abrasion); and non-natural disasters (waste, epidemics, and technological failures).

"In fact, outsiders call Indonesia a 'disaster supermarket' because of our complex demographic contours. We are one of the 35 countries, with the highest level of potential disaster risks in the world according to the World Bank's indicators," National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Head Lt Gen. Doni Monardo stated on May 6, 2021, while speaking at an online seminar on "The Importance of Building Disaster Competencies and Skills in Indonesia" organized by the School of Environmental Sciences (SIL) of the University of Indonesia (UI).

During the January-April 14, 2021, period, a total of 1,118 natural disasters had struck various parts of Indonesia, according to the BNPB data.

The natural disasters comprised 473 occurrences of floods, 305 whirlwinds, 217 landslides, 17 earthquakes, 90 forest and land fires, one incident of drought, and 15 high tides and abrasions. On April 13, 2021, the government declared the spread of COVID-19 as a non-natural national disaster.

At least 472 people lost their lives, 60 people went missing, and 12,872 others sustained injuries in the disasters. The natural disasters forced 4,901,400 people to flee their homes and damaged 137,719 homes, with 24,987 houses sustaining severe damage, 25,926 houses experiencing moderate damage, and 86,806 houses suffering light damage. A total of 2,547 public facilities were also damaged, comprising 1,316 educational facilities, 926 places of worship, 305 health facilities, 402 offices, and 297 bridges, according to the BNPB.

Most of the natural disasters were reported in West Java, reaching 284; followed by 157 in East Java; 156 in Central Java; and 76 in Aceh.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati earlier stated that disasters had led to losses amounting to Rp28.8 trillion annually.

Indonesians earlier paid no attention to weather forecasts. However, since the frequency of natural disasters, such as cyclones, whirlwinds, and tornadoes, had been increasing, several people are currently left with no choice but to follow the weather forecast news.

Hence, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has sought easier public access to weather forecast and warnings of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to raise awareness on potential disasters.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

NEW INVESTMENT MINISTRY EXPECTED TO DRIVE ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION BY Fardah


Jakarta, 26/5, 2021 (ANTARA) - The Joko Widodo administration's decision to upgrade the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) into the Ministry of Investment has been welcomed by the business community as it is expected to create positive sentiment among domestic as well as foreign investors.

The new ministry, announced by President Widodo on April 28, 2021, has been created to improve the ease of doing business in Indonesia as it struggles to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. BKPM chief Bahlil Lahadalia has been appointed as the Investment Minister.

Indonesia has been working to realize economic growth of around five percent this year through direct investment, among other things.

The newly formed Investment Ministry is expected to attract investment into the country and create jobs, which are key to driving economic growth in 2021, according to Widodo.

"The key to growth, our economic growth, is investment. Because it is impossible for us to drastically increase our state budget. This means that the key is in investment and creating as many job opportunities as possible, the President said recently.

He then asked that trade policies be formulated to invite investment inflows. Such policies must also help recover economic sectors that contracted last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia has formulated a strategy to increase the investment target up to Rp900 trillion for 2021 and Rp5 thousand trillion in 2024.

The new minister has a five-point plan to increase added value with downstream orientation to drive Indonesias economic transformation.

"The first one is investment in the health sector. We know that almost all of our medical devices and medicinal raw materials are imported," he said.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

GOVERNMENT POSITIVE ECONOMIC RECOVERY ON HORIZON by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 23/5, 2021 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is optimistic the economy will grow positively this year with indications of an improvement emerging amid the pandemic and containment measures, which have plunged the global economy into a deep contraction.

After Indonesia recorded its first coronavirus cases in March, 2020, economic growth spiraled to minus 5.32 percent in the second quarter to reach minus 3.49 percent in the third quarter and minus 2.19 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Overall, the Indonesian economy shrunk 2.07 percent year-on-year (yoy) in 2020, a figure that is considered better than several other countries.

In the first quarter of this year, the country saw a significant improvement, with the economy recording a smaller contraction of 0.74 percent as the Retail Sales Index, Consumer Confidence Index, and manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index strengthened. A rise in car sales, electricity consumption, and cement production also provided a positive impetus to Indonesia's economic recovery.

The government is optimistic that the national economy would continue to improve and grow at a high rate of 4.5 percent-5.3 percent by the end of 2021.

However, to achieve this figure, the economy needs to grow positively in the range of 6.9 percent-7.8 percent in the second quarter of 2021.

The government believes that positive economic growth can be attained through state budget stimulus programs, acceleration of the vaccination program, and consistent implementation of the health protocols.

Furthermore, the government plans to encourage the strengthening of local industries in various key strategic fields, such as palm oil, chemicals, aluminum, electronics, and footwear, to help boost the economy.

"Our economic growth rate indicates a positive trend. It is expected to reach seven percent (in the 2021 second quarter)," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, observed on May 15, 2021.

As of March, 2021, the realization of foreign direct investment reached 54.6 percent, while the consumer confidence index among people with expenses below Rp5 million was recorded at 90.1, inching towards the normal zone of 100, the minister stated.

A positive trend was also evident in the growth of Indonesia's exports and imports, gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), and government spending, Hartarto pointed out.

A surge in the prices of commodities, such as palm oil, rubber, nickel, copper, and coal also bolstered the government's efforts to revive the economy. The rising prices of those commodities helped improve economic conditions in several regions during the first quarter of 2021.

The economic improvement was also supported by the realization of the national economic recovery budget (PEN), which, as of May 11, 2021, touched Rp172.35 trillion, an increase of Rp49.01 trillion compared to the first quarter of 2021, or late March this year, Hartarto told the press following a limited ministerial cabinet meeting on May 17, 2021.

The PEN realization accounted for 24 percent of the total state budget of Rp699.43 trillion allocated for the program this year.

Friday, May 21, 2021

GOTONG ROYONG A SHOT IN THE ARM FOR COVID BATTLE by Fardah

 

Jumat, 21 Mei 2021 22:17
Daerah : Jakarta

Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since March last year. To stem the transmission of the lethal virus, the government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program since January 13 this year.

In the first and second phase of the nationwide vaccination program, the government is targeting to cover 40,349,049 citizens, including human resources in the health sector, senior citizens, and public service workers.

According to the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, a total of 9,366,635 citizens have received two vaccine shots (have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19) and as many as 14,099,754 citizens have been administered the first vaccine shot as of May 20, 2021.

The government-funded vaccination program is using Sinovax vaccines bought from China and AstraZeneca vaccines received through the WHO-coordinated COVAX Facility.

Indonesia has so far secured 54 million vaccine doses free of cost through the World Health Organization (WHO) and spent nearly Rp77 trillion on procuring additional vaccine doses to cater to the large population of the country, which are being distributed free of charge.

The launch of the self-funded Gotong Royong vaccination campaign on May 18, 2021, witnessed by President Joko Widodo at PR Unilever Indonesia complex, Bekasi, West Java, is expected to expedite national efforts to contain COVID-19.

Supported by private and state-owned companies, the Gotong Royong program is seen as crucial for helping the government achieve the target of inoculating 181.5 million people to build herd immunity against the coronavirus.

President Widodo said he is optimistic that once workers begin receiving the self-funded Gotong Royong vaccines, the number of vaccine recipients could reach 70 million by September, 2021.

"We expect to be able to vaccinate 70 million citizens by this August or no later than September (2021),” he said.

Widodo said he also hopes to see the COVID curve flattening during the August-September period and normalcy being restored in industrial productivity.

Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), Rosan Perkasa Roeslani, said that at least 22,736 private companies have signed up for the program as of May 17, 2021.

The first phase of the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program will be implemented in 18 companies.

Based on the Indonesian Health Ministry's Regulation No.10/2021 on the Gotong Royong Vaccination Scheme, all vaccine costs will be borne by participating companies under the program.

Meanwhile, State-owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir has said that his ministry has no plans to commercialize COVID-19 vaccines.

"Regarding prices, from the beginning, we in the SOE Ministry have been very open. We are not thinking about commercializing the COVID-19 vaccines," Thohir said at a press conference on May 19, 2021.

For the self-funded program, the SOE Ministry and Kadin have kept vaccine prices transparent and they are being audited by the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP), he added.

The Indonesian government has set the price for Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines that will be provided under the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program at Rp500 thousand per shot.

The price includes Rp375 thousand as the cost of each vaccine dose and Rp125 thousand as the cost of inoculation, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, informed at an online press conference originating from the Presidential Palace recently.

The government has signed a contract with Sinopharm for 7.5 million doses and with CanSino for five million vaccine doses, he said.

Indonesia's Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) has issued emergency-use authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm.

"Today, we have issued EUA for the vaccine produced by Beijing Bio-Institute Biological Products, which is a unit of Sinopharm, a subsidiary of the China National Biotech Group. This is the Sinopharm vaccine," BPOM head Penny Lukito stated during an online press conference on April 29, 2021.

On April 30, a total of 482,400 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Jakarta from China, and on May 1, Indonesia was gifted 500 thousand doses of the Sinopharm vaccine by the United Arab Emirates. This June, Indonesia is expected to receive another one million doses as part of its order with Sinopharm.

From July to September this year, Indonesia is hoping to receive Moderna and Novavax vaccines to support the Gotong Royong vaccination program. It is also planning to allow Pfizer and Sputnix vaccines for the Gotong Royong program.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had appealed to people to not be picky about the COVID-19 vaccines offered by the government, saying the WHO has declared all currently authorized and recommended vaccines safe.

"So, there is no reason for the public to hesitate to participate in the vaccination program," Siti Nadia Tarmizi, spokesperson for the ministry, said .

The huge number of vaccine doses needed by Indonesia cannot be supplied by just one vaccine manufacturer, she said. In fact, countries around the world have been competing fiercely to secure vaccine supplies for their populations, she pointed out.

"At first, Indonesia received the Sinovac vaccine. Then, at the end of March and early April, 2021, we had the AstraZeneca vaccine, and in June or July, 2021, other vaccines are scheduled to arrive, (which) include Novavax and Pfizer," she noted.

The government is calling all vaccines as COVID-19 vaccines, so that they are no longer identified on the basis of producers, Tarmizi said. (INE)

 

EDITED BY INE

Monday, May 17, 2021

INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE PARAMOUNT TO ENDING ISRAELI AGGRESSION by Fardah


 Jakarta, 18/5/2021 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has expressed concern over the mounting tensions in occupied Palestine, especially Gaza, where children and women have fallen victims to Israeli airstrikes since the first week of May 2021.

Israeli airstrikes have continued to bomb civilian apartments, refugee camps, and also a tower hosting offices of international media outlets, such as Aljazeera and AP, over the last 10 days while Palestinian Muslims were fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and planning to celebrate Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan on May 13, 2021.

The Israeli aggression has claimed 212 lives, including 61 children and 36 women, injured at least 1,305, and displaced some 40 thousand Palestinians in Gaza as of May 17, 2021. In West Bank, 11 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, while 10 Israelis were also killed in rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

Palestine is currently the only country in the world that is still being colonized. All sufferings endured by the Palestinian people are due to Israel as the occupying power, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi noted in her speech at an emergency meeting of the OIC Executive Committee held virtually on May 16, 2021.

Indonesia reaffirmed its staunch support for the Palestinians' struggle for independence and called for the unity of OIC member countries and various Palestinian elements in the fight against Israeli colonization.

"Justice must prevail for the Palestinian people. I emphasize that Indonesia will continue to support the Palestinian cause," the minister remarked.

Marsudi also urged OIC members to leverage their influence to press for a cease-fire and halt Israeli aggressions against Palestinians at the earliest.

"Together, we have to act now," Marsudi stated before 15 other foreign ministers and deputy ministers of the OIC member countries.

Tensions have been escalating in occupied Palestine following the Israeli courts orders for eviction of six Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab, and for Jewish families to move into those homes.

The attempted eviction has prompted strong protests internationally and especially by Palestinians that had congregated in the complex of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third Islamic holiest site, where they also spent the nights for Lailatul Qadr prayers during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

However, Israeli forces launched tear gas and stun grenades at the Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound while attempting to block worshipers from performing prayers in the mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had urged Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

GOVT HITS BRAKES ON 'MUDIK' FOR SECOND YEAR AS PANDEMIC LINGERS by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 7/5/2021 (ANTARA) - Mbok Ija, a housemaid who worked without a break for the last two consecutive years, was excited when her son told her on the phone to pack her bags for Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

He was sending a chartered car to ferry her to her rural home in East Java so she could join in the festivities with relatives.

Ija said her son was aware that the government has once again banned homebound travel, locally known as mudik, which usually involves a mass exodus as millions of people leave big cities and head for their rural hometowns for Eid al-Fitr.

To avoid any trouble, Mbok Ija left for East Java at 4 a.m. on May 1, 2021, ahead of the mudik ban, which is being enforced from May 6-17, 2021, as part of restrictions to check the spread of COVID-19.

Homecoming activities, wherein travelers meet their relatives, usually involve direct physical contact, such as shaking hands and hugging, which could transmit the coronavirus more quickly.

This concern has prompted President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to urge regional leaders to intensify dissemination of information on the mudik ban and health protocols campaigns to avert any further rise in coronavirus transmission.

He has also asked the regions to continue with COVID-19 mass vaccination programs.

Monday, May 3, 2021

RISING ROLE OF SHARIA ECONOMY IN INDONESIA by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 4/5/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is indubitably catching up with other countries in the development of the sharia economy, although the world's largest Muslim population nation was considered as being rather late in paying heed to Islamic economics.

The world's fourth most populous country has realized the need to tap the potential of sharia economy, as the State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2020-2021 indicated that Muslim consumers' expenditure on halal food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, and tourism had reached US$2.02 trillion in 2019.

With a population of 271 million, of which almost 90 percent are Muslims, Indonesia is the world's biggest market for halal products, especially food, tourism, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

Refusing to be a mere market, Indonesia is determined to play a bigger role in the sharia economy domestically and also globally, by developing four aspects: halal industry, sharia finance, sharia social finance, and sharia entrepreneurship.

The government's support is apparent from the several policies to develop the halal industry, including establishment of the Special Economic Zones (KEK) for the halal industry.

Moreover, President Joko Widodo, as head of the National Islamic Finance Committee (KNKS), had launched the Indonesian Islamic Economics Master Plan (MEKSI) 2019-2024 in May 2019, which is the country's first road map for Islamic economy that aims to strengthen the national economy.

In February 2020, the KNKS was transformed into the National Committee for Sharia Economy and Finance (KNEKS).

Friday, April 30, 2021

INDONESIA'S HALAL INDUSTRY GAINS MOMENTUM AMID PANDEMIC by Fardah


 

Jakarta, 1/5/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, is focusing on developing its halal industry to meet domestic and global demand in light of trends that indicate sharia businesses grew amid the economic crises wrought by the pandemic.

The halal industry has been able to record positive performance despite the pressure on economies around the world owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, the industry had recorded a growth of 3.2 percent higher than global economic growth of 2.3 percent.

"Globally, spending on halal products in 2019 before COVID-19 occurred, especially on food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, and travel products had reached US$2.02 trillion," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati informed on the sidelines of the online launch of a halal industry collaboration program on April 14, 2021.

Indonesia is the world's biggest market for halal products, particularly in the food, tourism, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics sectors, she pointed out.

"This potential must inspire business operators to work on the halal industry," she said.

Indonesia's sharia economy is focusing on developing the halal industry, sharia finance, sharia social finance, and sharia entrepreneurship.

The government's support has been apparent from the several policies aimed at developing the halal industry, including the establishment of a Special Economic Zone (KEK) for the industry.

In addition, the collaboration between the National Committee for Sharia Economics and Finance (KNEKS) and companies such as PT. Unilever Indonesia is expected to encourage the halal industry in the country.

Supply chain cooperation is a necessity at this time for strengthening the ecosystem and creating a comprehensive supply chain cooperation, Indrawati said.

Hence, it is crucial to develop a cross-sector collaboration program to support the development of sharia economy and finance in Indonesia, which is targeting to become the world's sharia economy hub, she added.

"This (the Muslim Center of Excellence program) is an initiative from a very positive industry in order to strengthen the ecosystem of the halal industry in Indonesia and strengthen the capabilities and capacities of the industry, including MSMEs, in producing goods meeting the preferences of Muslim groups," she said.