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Highlights in the media today: Indonesia secures supply of potential vaccine, Strict implementation of health protocols to prevent outbreak in tourist destinations, Govt registers 12 million recipients in wage subsidy scheme.

Indonesia has secured a supply of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the ballpark figure of 300 million doses until the end of next year, the government has said, following ministerial visits to China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi and State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir oversaw two deals between Bio Farma and China’s Sinovac Biotech that would give Indonesia the equivalent of 50 million doses of potential vaccine from November to March and priority access for the rest of 2021.

The ministers also oversaw the deals between two state drugmakers, Kimia Farma and Indofarma, and Group 42 (G42) Healthcare in Abu Dhabi. G42 signed an agreement with Kimia Farma to develop vaccines and another with Indofarma to develop test kits using laser technology and AI to detect the virus.

The foreign minister announced that Indonesia had secured 290-340 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccine for 2021.

As of August 25 16:00 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 157,859 COVID-19 cases, with 112,867 recoveries and 6,858 deaths. The government had also identified 76,667 suspects.

Health protocols are being ignored by businesses, including those in the tourism industry. Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Office Tourism Department Head Bambang Ismadi said that the office had inspected 759 businesses as of August 18 and punished 76 businesses for violating the protocols.

He said that the office has requested the Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) to temporarily shut down 31 businesses for grave violations of the restrictions and collect Rp2.75 billion in fines from violations in the tourism sector.

The government has registered the bank accounts of 12 million eligible recipients for the emergency wage subsidy, which aims to boost household spending amid the pandemic. Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF) Head Febrio Kacaribu said that the government was targeting a total of 15.7 million recipients under the scheme, based on data from the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).

It is currently waiting for around 3 million eligible recipients to provide their bank account information to the social security agency. The remaining 700,000 eligible recipients were registered individually with the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, instead of through their employer.

The wage subsidy scheme provides each recipient with Rp2.4 million in two bimonthly disbursements of Rp1.2 million to cover a period of four months.

Eligible recipients are workers who earn less than Rp5 million per month who have been furloughed or have had their pay cut. They must also be active members of BPJS Ketenagakerjaan as of June 30.

Source:

  • Kompas.com, August 25, 2020, Indonesia confirms 157,859 COVID-19 cases

  • The Jakarta Post, August 25, 2020, p.2, RI secures large supply of potential vaccine

  • The Jakarta Post, August 25, 2020, p.5, Strict control in tourism to prevent outbreak

  • The Jakarta Post, August 25, 2020, p.5, 12 million recipients sign up for wage subsidy program

  • Kompas, August 25, 2020, p.9, Inequality in social aid disbursement

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