James Massola, Jakarta – Indonesia's health and hospital system is struggling to cope with an influx of people presenting for coronavirus testing, with patients being turned away from screening hospitals and told to return in a few days' time.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
March 19, 2020
Fikri Arigi, Jakarta – Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) stated that mass Friday prayer remains mandatory for healthy people in the green zone or areas with low potential of the coronavirus contagion. Nevertheless, they must comply with a number of virus prevention protocols.
Jakarta – The Semarang Legal Aid Institution (LBH Semarang) has questioned the Central Java Police's detention and naming as a suspect a student of Surakarta Muhammadiyah University (UMS), identified only as ISS, for allegedly spreading hate speech against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on March 13.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued an order to carry out massive rapid Covid-19 testing across Indonesia, as the country ramps up efforts to fight the pandemic.
Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) personnel have carried out raids at several internet cafes to make sure students stay at home during the two-week school closure imposed by the Jakarta administration.
West Jakarta Satpol PP head Tamo Sijabat said his personnel had raided dozens of internet cafes where students usually played online games.
Ghina Ghaliya, Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Calls are mounting for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to take extreme measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, including implementing a localized quarantine or partial lockdown, despite concerns over executing such a measure.
Markus Makur, Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara – Despite requests to cancel an ordination Mass for Siprianus Hormat, who was named the new bishop of Ruteng, following restrictions on mass gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak, organizers pressed ahead with the event in Ruteng district, Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara, that was attended by hundreds of people on Thursday.
Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The government has decided to stick to the 2020 regional election schedule despite the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Muhammad Ridwan – The Novel Baswedan Advocacy Team has criticised the public prosecutor's indictment of Rahmat Kadir Mahulette and Ronny Bugis, two defendants charged with the acid attack against senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Baswedan.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Indonesia on Thursday (March 19) reported a rise in deaths from the coronavirus, with the toll now at 25. The number of confirmed cases also increased to 309, from 225 the previous day.
Jakarta – The suspected leader of Indonesia's al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network has gone on trial on charges of terrorism that could result in a death sentence.
Prosecutors told the East Jakarta District Court that Para Wijayanto became leader of the banned organisation in 2009.
Budiarti Utami Putri, Anwar Siswadi, Jakarta – Researchers at the Center for Mathematical Modeling and Simulation of Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) predicts that Indonesia's coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic peak will happen at the end of March and eventually end in mid-April.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Investors are questioning the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia amid a selling spree on the domestic stock market as the country records rapid increases in the number of confirmed cases and death toll.
Jakarta – The Jakarta Police have stopped conducting traffic raids and started ticketing less as part of efforts to curtail the rapid spread of the fatal respiratory disease COVID-19.
"I have ordered my personnel to suspend traffic raids," Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Cmr Sambodo Purnomo yogo said as reported by kompas.com on Thursday.
Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – After days of confusion about the death toll in Indonesia, the country's spokesperson for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reported a jump from five to 19 deaths, citing "a problem in data input" that caused a delay in reporting the deaths.
March 18, 2020
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – "FILE YOUR TAX RETURNS." As if once is not enough, this message is repeated three times in gigantic lettering on billboards across Indonesia. It projects the dire need for taxpayers to file their annual tax returns (SPT) so the government can secure the funds needed to stimulate the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yulia Savitri and A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Palembang – The Environment and Forestry Ministry has complained that a lack of certification in environmental matters among judges remains one of the biggest obstacles to law enforcement in environmental damage cases, including those involving land and forest fires.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's plea for workers, students and worshipers to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the corona virus (Covid-19) can't be followed by all workers. There are groups who have to continue working outside the home in order to keep kitchens fires burning despite the risk of the fatal disease.
Ade Mardiyati – Two years after they met at a university event outside Jakarta, Indah Welasasih and Muhamad Yoesoef decided to get married. Despite an age gap of 16 years, the Indonesian couple felt they had a deep connection and they were comfortable with one another.
Human development index figures are improving in Papuan provinces of Indonesia. Latest figures from Indonesia's national statistics agency show human development progress in both Papua and West Papua provinces.
Jakarta – President Joko Widodo's administration could be accused of violating the Constitution if it does not immediately improve its strategy to deal with the spread of Covid-19.
Jakarta – The National Police's food stability task force has enforced a limit on the amount of staple foods available for purchase in a bid to ensure availability in the long term amid panic buying prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – Bahteramas Regional General Hospital, the only referral center for COVID-19 patients in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, reportedly ran out of surgical masks on Wednesday, resulting in the postponement of several elective surgeries.
Riska Rahman and Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – Major business players are split over the idea of a lockdown to slow the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, they seem to support President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's push to limit face-to-face interactions by having people work, study and worship from home.
Jakarta – In an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) has developed online services to help its followers worship at home.
PGI chairman Gomar Gultom said the measure was taken after President Joko "Jokowi' Widodo asked people to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Sunday.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – Several airports are implementing social distancing measures in tackling the spread of COVID-19 as major operators rearrange public spaces at airports across Indonesia.
Jakarta – Consumer-facing companies are helping to create nationwide awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic by launching public information campaigns.
Technology companies such as Gojek have put up banners on their apps informing users about precautionary measures to educate customers and encourage the public to remain calm.
Ilyas Istianur Praditya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Trade Union Council (MPBI) has confirmed it will postpone mass actions against the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.
Jakarta – Indonesia's currency has been in a freefall, even defying the central bank's intense market intervention. The decline may now gather further pace as demand for US dollars climb from companies set to repatriate dividends.
M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab temporarily halted weekly and monthly general events usually held at its headquarters in Petamburan, Central Jakarta and Megamendung, Bogor Regency. The decision was made as an effort to prevent the coronavirus infection or known as COVID-19 from further spreading in Indonesia.
Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Food delivery service GrabFood has launched a new "non-contact" delivery system to follow government advice on social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
On Monday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo urged Indonesians to observe social distancing by staying at home as much as possible.
Jakarta – Human rights activists have urged the government to learn from the Dutch king by, among other measures, admitting past human rights violations, apologizing to the families of victims and working to resolve cases through judicial and nonjudicial measures.
Ganug Nugroho Adi and Fadli, Surakarta – Despite the country having two months to prepare for the arrival of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Indonesian people say they have limited knowledge about the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, and what little they know they have learned from the media or social media, not from any government institutions.
Gemma Holliani Cahya and Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Reports have surfaced about patients in Greater Jakarta having to wait for a long time to get tests or treatment for possible cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as referral hospitals face increasing strain.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The government aims to jumpstart stalled renewable energy projects through a recently issued regulation as it races against time to catch up with Indonesia's green energy commitments.
Jakarta – A gay soldier, a second lieutenant of the Indonesian Army identified only by his initials DS, is fighting a legal battle over his alleged personal relations with three men in 2017 and 2018. His prosecution is discriminatory, according to rights groups.
N. Adri, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan – The nonprofit Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) has closed down several facilities to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
BOSF chief executive officer Jamartin Sihite said he had yet to learn how the virus would affect orangutans.
Jakarta – The Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI) is urging the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government to halt deliberations on Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation given the corona virus pandemic (Covid-19). If the deliberations go ahead it will be the same as provoking people take to the streets to oppose it.
An academic from West Papua says Indonesian plans to further divide up the region will only enhance dependency on Jakarta.
Indonesia's chief security minister Mohammad Mahfud said the govenment was considering options for creating more provinces in Papua region, which is currently administered as two provinces.
Antara, Jakarta – Jakarta's Istiqlal Mosque management announced today, March 18, that it planned to hold the mass Friday prayer based on the Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) decision amid the coronavirus outbreak happening in the country.
Beritasatu, Jakarta – Indonesia has reported a steep jump in the number of deaths from Covid-19 in its territory as the most populous country in Southeast Asia veered toward a worst-case scenario in the pandemic.
Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – When President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made a televised appeal for Indonesians to work from home on Sunday as part of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) containment efforts, 40-year-old Asri knew the message was not for her.
Rather, it might even mean longer working hours for her and millions of fellow domestic workers across the country.
Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The police's response to a video of 49 Chinese workers arriving in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, despite the government's travel ban to and from China in an effort to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading, has been condemned.
Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has recommended that the General Elections Commission (KPU) prepare for delays to the 2020 regional elections in areas where people have tested positive for COVID-19.
Jakarta – Following the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) disclosure that it had declared a "particular state of disaster emergency" in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, a constitutional expert has said that more decisive action is needed.
March 17, 2020
Jakarta – The Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry has allowed civil servants to work from home for two weeks in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in state offices. The new working arrangement is stipulated in a circular signed by Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry is proposing the inclusion of power companies onto a list of industries eligible for cheap natural gas.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Indonesia has revoked the price floor for unsubsidized gasoline and diesel as the government expects falling global oil prices to push down retail costs, but distributors look less likely to drastically cut prices with some already providing discounts.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council has urged the government to map coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) prone areas following its issuance of a fatwa that advises Muslims to avoid praying in congregations, including for Friday prayers.
Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) will temporarily close its One-Stop Integrated Service (PTSP) licensing outlets to minimize the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia explained that the agency would suspend its face-to-face services from March 17 until March 31.