AmCham Indonesia Endorses Lockdown By A Lin Neumann, Managing Director
Along with our Indonesian colleagues, family members, neighbors, and friends, AmCham Indonesia has watched with rising alarm as the Covid-19 case numbers in recent weeks have climbed inexorably higher, with no apparent end in sight. The images of people searching for hospital beds and treatment are heartbreaking.
We were struck that on the very day when the government announced firmer measures to deal with the pandemic, the number of new cases reached a record of 24,836, a figure that is almost certainly much higher given the difficulties in testing capacity in Indonesia. It is time to face the reality of this crisis with resolve.
That is why we are adding our voice in support of the new emergency community activity restrictions, or PPKM Darurat, introduced today, July 1. As a business chamber representing American companies who collectively invest billions of dollars here annually and employ tens of thousands of Indonesians, we applaud President Joko Widodo’s brave action.
We are business people ourselves and we recognize there will be economic pain as a result of the restrictions. But we firmly believe that without tough measures to deal with this resurgent wave of the virus, the humanitarian disaster that could unfold will do massive damage to Indonesia’s future. Now is the time to face the short-term discomfort of movement restrictions as we wait for more vaccine capacity and a manageable virus trajectory. In this regard, we also encourage the international community to work together to release as many vaccine doses as possible to assist Indonesia and other countries similarly stricken.
Now is not the time to argue over details. Lockdowns have been shown to save lives, including in Indonesia, and we only hope that these new measures will be enforced robustly and continue as long as necessary to get the numbers under control. We are proud to offer our support to your efforts, Mr. President. We are on your side as we fight this peril together.
Under mounting national and international concern over rising Covid-19 case numbers, President Joko Widodo announced the implementation of emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM Darurat) from July 3-20 for Bali and Java, in a statement today, July 1. The decision was based on input from ministries, health experts, regional leaders, and the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment will be in charge of the implementation of the policy.
The number of new cases today climbed above 24,000, a jump of nearly 3,000 cases and another grim pandemic record for Indonesia.
Driven by a steep rise in cases following the Idul Fitri holiday and the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant, the current spike in case numbers has led to the deaths of medical personnel, warnings of the hospital system collapsing, and shortages of vital products like oxygen in some areas. Doctors, hospital administrators, public health experts, and some government officials called for the measures to be put in place despite concerns about the economic impact.
Under PPKM Darurat, offices in non-essential sectors must have all employees work from home (WFH). Essential sectors may have 50 percent WFH, and critical sectors may have all employees work from the office with proper health protocols. All schooling and religious activities must be conducted at home. Malls, trade centers, and shopping centers must close completely, and restaurants may only serve deliveries or takeaways.
Grocery stores and supermarkets may open until 20.00 WIB on 50 percent visitor capacity. Short-distance public transportation may only have 70 percent passengers. For long-distance travel (plane, bus, and train), passengers must show a vaccine certificate for at least one dose of an approved Covid vaccine. Plane passengers are also obliged to show PCR test results taken at least two days before departure, while other public transportation requires antigen test results taken one day before departure. Activities in public places and face-to-face meetings, including concerts, cultural shows, sports facilities, and social gatherings, are prohibited.
The new Kappa Covid-19 variant has been detected in Jakarta, said Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan in the coordination meeting on emergency PPKM implementation with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan yesterday, June 29.
The variant, which is derived from the same strain as the Delta variant, is encoded B.617 and is believed to be more infectious, according to Griffith University epidemiologist Dicky Budiman. Kappa has been classified as a Variant of Interest (VOI) by the World Health Organization and has not yet reached Variant of Concern (VOC) status.
Indonesia reported a record 24,836 new Covid-19 cases today, July 1, the highest daily rise since the pandemic started. The number of new deaths was also a record one-day high at 504. The hospital bed occupancy rate (BOR) has also reached more than 90 percent in some areas.
As part of the requirement for Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), students in Years 12 and 13 must undertake at least one CAS project – a collaborative, well-considered series of sequential experiences. The primary purpose is to ensure participation in sustained collaboration.
ACG School Jakarta students Kai Widoyo-Kogiso, William Kim, and Satria Wiraputra recognized a need in their neighborhoods for meal distribution services for families most affected by the pandemic and struggling to eat. They were inspired by an article in The Jakarta Post that outlined how the pandemic was causing many Indonesians to lose their livelihoods.
“We wanted to give back to the local community during these challenging times and help out as many people as possible,” said Kai.
As a result, the students have been meeting regularly to prepare meals and develop their cooking skills. Then they distribute meals to areas in Depok and Jakarta. The meals are entirely prepared by the members, and the menu is mainly Indonesian cuisine.
Vaccines for Children Now Available as Death Rates Rise
With the number of child Covid-19 deaths almost tripling since May, children aged 12-17 years old can now be vaccinated, according to Ministry of Health Circular Letter Number HK.02.02/I/1727/2021. The vaccine will be given twice in doses of 0.5 ml within the minimum interval time of 28 days.
Acting Head of the Human Resource Development Center (PPSDM) of the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said vaccination can be obtained through health facilities and schools.
Child vaccinations are part of moves to suppress the number of positive cases, as patients aged 0-18 years make up nearly 260,000 confirmed cases. Of 600 deaths of victims below the age of 18, 197 cases were children aged 12-17 years old, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.18 percent.
Aman Pulungan, head of Indonesia's pediatric society, said weekly child Covid deaths rose to 24 last week from 13 the previous week, with many under five years old.
In this fast-paced world, it is often hard to stay informed on the latest political issues and business trends that may affect our lives. This is why Katadata’s D-insights provides the information we need on a daily basis, plus weekly and quarterly reports that summarize the trends and give background on the business, politics, markets, and energy.
Katadata D-insights offers a special rate for all AmCham members. The subscription for D-Insights are as follows:
Up to four users with a special price at Rp 40,000,000 annually. Send names, emails, and quote “AMCHAM2” to [email protected]
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.
The AmCham Office is on the 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 AmCham's 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