Highlights in the media today: Experts warn people against rushing to buy dexamethasone, Bekasi city administration opts for community-based reporting instead of checkpoints, BI to slash benchmark interest rate to 4.25%.

KawalCOVID-19 co-founder Elina Ciptadi on Wednesday (June 17) warned the public over a possible misperception surrounding dexamethasone, especially after it was widely covered by the media. The drug was indeed given to hospitalized patients with severe symptoms, but Elina was concerned that the public might mistakenly believe the drug was a cure for COVID-19.

Universitas Indonesia public health expert Pandu Riono said that the drug was not intended for regular consumption and carried the risk of side effects, which may range from a bloated face to internal organ damage, if consumed without medical supervision.

As of June 19 16:10 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 1,041 new cases, which brought the tally to 43,803 cases with 17,349 recoveries and 2,373 deaths.

The effectiveness of the exit and entry permit (SIKM) scheme depends on the people’s awareness of reporting the arrival of newcomers from outside Greater Jakarta to their neighborhood and community unit  (RT/RW) officials. Many of those newcomers have been living freely among the population.

The Bekasi city administration has decided to strengthen monitoring at the community unit level since June 16. The policy is expected to encourage people to report any newcomers to their community unit heads. The city had previously stopped the operation of 14 checkpoints.

Bank Indonesia (BI) decided on Thursday (June 18) to slash the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (BPS) to 4.25%. In the past year, Bank Indonesia (BI) had already slashed benchmark interest rate by 175 BPS, in line with the 99-BPS decrease of banks’ deposit rate from July 2019 to June 2020.

The lending interest rate had also dropped by 69 BPS over the same period. BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said that banks still have adequate liquidity to support further decrease in interest rates.

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