Highlights in the media today: Cases from office clusters sharply increase within a month, Majority actually in favor of school reopening, survey shows, Businesses hold negative sentiment regarding the national economy

Office areas have become the new COVID-19 hotspots. According to COVID-19 Task Force data on July 26, there had only been 43 cases recorded in office areas in Jakarta by June 4. The number of cases has since increased to 440 cases in 68 offices.

Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration, and Energy Office Head Andri Yansyah said on Tuesday (July 28) that the agency had conducted several unannounced inspections in offices to check the enforcement of health protocols at the workplace. The agency has also assigned 58 employees to monitor more than 78,000 companies.

As of July 29 16:23 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 104,432 COVID-19 cases with 62,138 recoveries and 4,975 deaths. The government had also identified 57,393 COVID-19 suspects.

Meanwhile, a recent poll by Cyrus Network suggested that the majority of Indonesians actually wanted the government to reopen schools and colleges.

According to the survey, published on Monday (July 27), 80.2% of 1,230 respondents polled from July 16-20 were in favor of reopening schools, while only 19.8% were opposed to it. Furthermore, 78.7% of respondents said that they supported the reopening of universities.

The majority of business players, from large companies to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were of the view that Indonesia’s economy was in a bad shape, a survey by Indikator showed.

The survey, which involved 1,176 respondents in nine provinces from June 29-July 11, found that 73.5% of big businesses believed that the economy was in a poor condition. The sentiment was shared by 60.6% and 69% of respondents from micro and small enterprises, respectively.

According to the survey, the negative view stemmed from issues such as the sluggish global economy, the difficulty to get a project or order, as well as high operating costs and rising raw material costs during the pandemic.

Indikator Executive Director Burhanudin Muhtadi said that businesspeople tended to see the central government as having handled COVID-19-related issues poorly .

In the retail, wholesale, and automotive industries, a particularly high share of 81.4% expressed negative views on the economy.

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