Highlights in the media today: Health Ministry issues decree on health protocols, ADB projects Indonesia’s GDP to shrink 1% in 2020, Indonesia’s debt to swell as country recovers

The Health Ministry has issued Health Ministerial Decree No. HK.01.07/MENKES/382/2020, which describes the details of health protocols to be enforced in public places, the industries, as well as in the trade and service sectors.

Health Ministry Surveillance and Quarantine Director R. Vensya Sitohang said that the principles of the health protocols are physical distancing, washing hands using soap or hand sanitizer, wearing masks, maintaining the immune system, and controlling comorbidity.

As of June 22 16:02 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 46,845 COVID-19 cases with 18,735 recoveries and 2,500 deaths.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the latest to come forward about the grim projection of Indonesia’s economy this year. The organization projected Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to shrink 1% this year, the weakest since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis.

The forecast is a downward revision from the 2.5% growth it initially projected in April, according to the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook Supplement. ADB Country Economist for Indonesia Emma Allen said that many uncertainties still persisted even after economic activities had begun to resume.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s debt will swell significantly next year as the government increases spending to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Ministry Fiscal Policy Agency Head Febrio Nathan Kacaribu said that Indonesia’s debt-to-GDP ratio would swell to between 33.8% and 35.8% next year, up from 29.8% at the end of last year, as the government expected the budget deficit to reach 6.34% of GDP this year.

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