PSBB is Back, Economy Could Rebound for 2021, Hospitals Filling Up
Jan 06, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
Welcome to 2021
By A Lin Neumann, Managing Director
AmCham Indonesia is delighted to be back and ready to work on behalf of our members in 2021. I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our members, supporters and partners for your active contributions to AmCham during the crisis year of 2020. With your support, we held more events and reached more people online in 2020 than ever before. Our AmCham Update publication and our translations became staple sources of information in English for our members and the broader community. We published 113 updates in 2020 and we intend to maintain the momentum.
When the pandemic began last year, we had no way of knowing how we would fare as an organization. Fortunately, our fine staff, Board, leadership and members rose to the challenge and we found ways to respond. Our members also maintained their strong financial support, which this made our efforts possible.
With positive changes in the investment climate underway through the Omnibus Job Creation Law, the latest cabinet reshuffle and a new attitude toward foreign investment inside the government, we have every reason to believe that 2021 will begin the process of economic recovery. We are gratified that many of the issues we have raised over the years about foreign investment are reflected in the new wave of reform.
In the meantime, the pandemic is very much with us and we appeal to all of you to stay home as much as possible, wear your masks and avoid foolish gatherings. We will get through this and Indonesia will prosper as we build the future together.
Strict PSBB Returning for Java and Bali
The Chairman of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KCP-PEN), Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, has announced the return of strict large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Java and Bali from Jan 11 to 25. The decision was taken as current conditions are worsening and Indonesia’s active COVID-19 cases have hit 14.2 percent of the population, higher than the maximum national rate set at 14 percent by Government Regulation 21/2020 Regarding Large Scale Social Restrictions to Accelerate COVID-19 Handling.
Tightened restrictions include:
Office work is only allowed at 25 percent capacity
Extending online schooling
Only essential sectors providing basic needs are allowed to operate at 100 percent capacity with health protocols
Malls will close at 19:00. Restaurants can still accept dine-in at 25 percent capacity and receive take away and delivery orders
Construction can still operate at 100 percent capacity with health protocols
Public facilities will be temporarily closed. Religious facilities can operate at 50 percent capacity
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan confirmed on Jan 3 that large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta are to be extended until Jan 17, 2021. This decision is contained in Governor's Decree (Kepgub) No. 1295/ 2020. Anies said the decision to extend was based on the assessment score made by the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Public Health (FKM UI).
Pandu Riono, FKM UI epidemiologist, said advice had been given to the Jakarta government regarding pandemic conditions in the capital, but denied FKM UI recommended continuing with transitional PSBB. He said FKM UI advised tightening PSBB so handling of COVID-19 could be more optimal.
The use of isolation beds and ICUs in hospitals reached 62.7 percent of the national capacity of 68,055 on Dec 28, according to the Ministry of Health. The figure exceeded the limit set by the World Health Organization of 60 percent in each country. Yogyakarta, East Java, Central Java, West Java, Banten, and Jakarta exceeded 68 percent of the hospital bed occupancy rate. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin estimates the occupancy rate will increase again in 10-14 days after the Christmas and New Year 2021 holidays.
At the beginning of this year, the national COVID-19 positivity rate reached 29.55 percent, the highest since the first cases were recorded on Mar 2, 2020. Indonesia's daily data on the positivity rate has exceeded five times the standard set by the WHO of 5 percent. The lower the positivity rate in a country, the greater the number of people being tested and showing adequate contact tracing efforts.
Salesforce and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have announced a collaboration to equitably distribute approximately two billion COVID-19 vaccines to 190 countries by the end of 2021.
Fair, rapid, and equitable access to vaccines is critical to ending the global pandemic. In June, Gavi and other partners launched COVAX, a global alliance whose goal is to ensure people in all corners of the world have access to COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of their wealth. COVAX will achieve this by supporting the research, development, and manufacturing of a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, and also in negotiating pricing and distribution for the 190 countries that have joined the alliance to date.
Salesforce Work.com for Vaccines, Experience Cloud and Nonprofit Cloud will power Gavi’s COVAX country engagement platform, which will help them manage critical information. Salesforce is enabling COVAX to move quickly to support fast access to vaccines with a single, secure portal that all participating countries can use to communicate and share information, such as vaccine requirements and access reports. Lower-income countries eligible for support by COVAX will use the portal to provide information to facilitate the planning of doses to be rolled out. Higher-income, self-financing countries participating in COVAX will use the portal for updates about their financial position as that changes over time.
High Expectations for IDX Stocks to Strengthen in 2021
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto predicts Indonesia’s IDX Composite stock price index will reach 6,800-7,000 by the end of 2021, amid the lower risk of uncertainty in global financial markets.
Analysts say the ratification of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation will have a positive effect on the economy, particularly the manufacturing sector, which will help foreign direct investment increase. Indonesia’s economic growth is predicted to reach 4.4 percent. The World Bank also predicts the global economy in 2021 will rebound, as global economic growth projections have grown from 4.2 percent to 5.2 percent this year.
President Joko Widodo announced six new ministers in the Indonesia Onward Cabinet on Dec 22, 2020, and they were sworn in the next day. The new ministers are:
Sakti Wahyu Trenggono (Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries), replacing Edhy Prabowo
Tri Rismaharini (Minister of Social Affairs), replacing Juliari Batubara
Budi Gunadi Sadikin (Minister of Health), replacing Terawan Agus Putranto
Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno (Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy), replacing Wishnutama Kusubandio
Muhammad Lutfi (Minister of Trade), replacing Agus Suparmanto
Yaqut Cholil Qoumas (Minister of Religious Affairs), replacing Fachrul Razi.
Outgoing ministers Edhy Prabowo (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Juliari Batubara (Social Affairs) were replaced because of corruption charges, while the other four were replaced due to performance issues.
Support Independent Journalism: Subscribe to The Jakarta Post
In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
We Still Need Your Support to Shelter the Front Line
AmCham Indonesia and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces in an initiative called Sheltering Those Who Care for Us, a program to provide temporary quarters in hotels for Indonesian medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our program has helped not only medical workers in Jakarta, but also Tangerang and Surabaya; we are now planning to expand to Sulawesi.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, medical workers are working a lot harder than before. In these difficult times, they often cannot go back home for fear of infecting family members or being rejected by their local communities. As a result, they are forced to sleep in hospitals without a proper bed, also increasing the possibility of getting infected.
By donating, we will increase the overall capability of Indonesia to treat COVID-19. Habitat will match individual hospitals with hotels on an as-needed basis.
The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is a regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor.