Highlights in the media today: WHO urges Indonesia to test more suspected patients, Jakarta records highest ever daily number, Indonesia could enter recession in Q3.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Indonesia to perform more polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on people suspected to have the disease because of the substantially high number of deaths among patients under treatment (PDP) and people under surveillance (ODP).

The organization had revised its patient discharge criteria: a hospitalized confirmed COVID-19 patient no longer requires two consecutive negative PCR tests to be released.

As of July 10, Indonesia has conducted 1,015 million PCR tests. However, only 58.8% of the PCR tests were used on people who had not been tested before, while the other half was performed to fulfill the requirement for discharging COVID-19 patients.

As of July 13 16:25, Indonesia had confirmed 76,981 COVID-19 cases, with 36,689 recoveries and 3,656 deaths.

On Sunday (July 12), Jakarta confirmed 404 new COVID-19 cases—the highest figure for a day since the first cases came up in March. The province’s positivity rate has also doubled to 10.5%, Governor Anies Baswedan said in a statement on Jakarta administration’s Youtube channel.

Anies said that since the transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were implemented on June 4, the biggest COVID-19 cluster was contributed by hospitalized patients (45.26%), followed by patients in residential areas (38%), wet markets (6.8%) and migrant workers (5.8%). However, 66% of the confirmed patients were asymptomatic.

According to an online survey conducted by The Nanyang University’s Social Resilience Lab and Laporcovid19.org to respondents in Jakarta from May 29-June 20, 54% of respondents believed that their chance of getting infected by COVID-19 was very low.

Indonesia could enter a recession in Q3, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said. The country’s GDP is expected to contract 3.8% in Q2 and may shrink by a further 1% or grow 1.2% in Q3. If the economy shrunk in Q3, it would mark Indonesia’s first recession since the 1998 financial crisis.

The government expected the GDP to contract by 0.4% this year in a worst-case scenario, or grow by 1% under the baseline scenario. The government is not looking to accelerate spending to boost the economy and mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

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