Situation Update: Response to COVID-19 in Indonesia (As of 4 January 2021) [EN/ID]

Situation Report
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As of 3 January, the Indonesian Government has announced 765,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in all 34 provinces in Indonesia, with 110,679 active cases, 22,734 deaths, and 631,937 people that have recovered from the illness. The government has also reported 72,027 suspected cases.

In response to the increase in COVID-19 cases, on 29 December, the Ministry of Health announced plans to increase the capacity of health facilities. In cooperation with local governments, treatment rooms capacity will increase by 30 percent, and new referral hospitals will be added. The additions include 7,901 new health workers in 141 health facilities (including 4,935 nurses, 829 general practitioners, and 480 specialist doctors), as well as 740 new beds for Intensive Care Units and isolation rooms in hospitals directly managed by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health also announced that the COVID-19 vaccination in Indonesia could begin in mid-January 2021 with priority being given to 1.3 million health workers, after obtaining the emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Monitoring Administration (BPOM). Currently, 3 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have arrived in Indonesia (on 6 and 31 December 2020). Indonesia targets to vaccinate 181.5 million people which will be done through vaccination campaigns until March 2022.

GeNose, a COVID-19 detection system created by Gadjah Mada University, obtained the distribution permit from the Ministry of Health on 24 December, and will be used to assist in COVID-19 screening. By using a breath sample method, GeNose can detect COVID-19 within five minutes, with a sensitivity level of 92 percent and a specificity of 95 percent. This tool has already been used in several hospitals in Yogyakarta and Central Java.

On 31 December, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture explained that social assistance will continue in 2021, both through regular and non-regular (COVID-specific) social assistance programs. Regular social assistance includes the Family Hope Program, targeting 10 million families and the Basic Food Program (Sembako) for 18.8 million families, which is distributed by members of the Association of State Banks (Himbara) through the Prosperous Family Card, as well as electricity bill discounts. Meanwhile, the non-regular social assistance programs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis which will continue, include Cash Social Assistance (BST) to ten million families to be distributed by PT Pos and the Village Fund Direct Cash Assistance (BLT DD) to eight million families to be distributed by the village governments. The Sembako program for the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas for 2021 will change to BST.

The Indonesian Government imposed a ban on the entry of foreign nationals to Indonesia from 1-14 January 2021. This decision was taken in anticipation of the emergence of a new mutated and rapidly transmitted variant of the corona virus. Exceptions are provided to official visas related to visits of foreign officials at ministerial level and above, holders of diplomatic residence permits and official residence permits, and holders of limited stay permit cards (KITAS) and permanent residence permit cards (KITAP). This exception is made by applying very strict health protocols. The regulation was announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 28 December.

Regarding the continuity of education, the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) conducted a survey on 11-18 December, with respondents from more than 62,000 elementary to high school / equivalent students in 34 provinces.

About 78 percent of respondents agreed that face-to-face schooling began in January 2021, with 10 percent disagreeing and 12 percent unsure. The majority wanted face-to-face learning not to take place fully, but only one day a week, reasoning that some subject matters are difficult to understand through online learning, and students are getting bored with distance learning and miss seeing their school friends.

Similarly, the Federation of Indonesian Teachers Union (FSGI) conducted a survey on 19-22 December, with respondents among more than 6,500 teachers in 13 selected provinces. About 49 percent of teachers agreed, 45 percent disagreed and 5 percent were unsure about face-to-face schools. The teachers agree with reasons such as being tired of distance teaching, some materials and practicum that cannot be given remotely, some students that do not have online gadgets and unstable internet connection. While the reasons for the disagreement are high cases of active COVID-19 that remains, fear of transmission, and inadequate health protocol infrastructure are also concerns at some schools.

The Provincial Government of Jakarta has extended the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) transition to the new normal until 17 January. On 3 January, the number of isolation beds in 98 COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta increased to 7,379 beds, from 6,663 beds in last two weeks, with the current occupancy rate at 87 percent. Active cases reached 15,471 cases, an increase by 18 percent compared to the last two weeks. The effective reproductive value (Rt) in Jakarta is 1.06 as of 2 January. The mortality rate due to COVID-19 rose significantly in the past two weeks, adding 247 deaths to a total of 3,334 since the start of the pandemic.

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