Highlights in the media today: West Nusa Tenggara, East Java record highest COVID-19 cases among children, Indonesia cancels this year’s haj, low inflation rate likely to stay throughout the year.

As of June 3 16:22 (GMT+7), Indonesia had recorded 28,233 COVID-19 cases with 8,406 recoveries and 1,698 deaths.

West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and East Java were the two provinces with the highest number of COVID-19 cases among children in the country. In NTB, the number of COVID-19 cases recorded among children was on the rise, especially among babies and under-fives.

Meanwhile, 127 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in Surabaya, East Java. Of that figure, 36 cases were recorded among under-fives and 91 cases were recorded among children aged 5-14. Surabaya COVID-19 Task Force Prevention Division Coordinator Febria Rachmanita said on Tuesday (June 2) that the majority of COVID-19-positive children were infected by family members.

Indonesia has decided to cancel the 2020 haj pilgrimage over COVID-19 concerns. Indonesia had initially planned to send up to 221,000 people for the annual haj. Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said that the ongoing pandemic, as well as Saudi Arabia’s indefinite suspension of haj and umrah (minor haj) trips, had not left the government with enough time to prepare people’s visas and protection measures.

Indonesia’s low inflation rate (0.07%) in May 2020 is predicted to continue throughout the year. A report from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) showed that the inflation rate in May was the lowest in Ramadan and Eid month ever recorded since 1978.

Danamon Bank economist Wisnu Wardana said on Tuesday that to boost people’s purchasing power, the government should not roll out excessive stimulus, such as lowering the retail price of fuel oil by more than 30%, as it might increase the country’s deflation risk.

BPS Head Suhariyanto said in a teleconference that this year’s unusual inflation rate was due to the pandemic, drastic drop of oil price, and escalating tension between China and the US.

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