Highlights in the media today: Peak of pandemic still hard to predict, Ramadan season prompts crowds in public transport, central government, Jakarta Administration feud over social relief budget.

The peak of the pandemic in Indonesia is still difficult to predict, as the number of new cases continues to fluctuate.

To illustrate the fluctuation, the number of new cases went up daily in the May 2-5 period while it went down every day during the May 6-8 period. On May 9, the number of new cases reached 533, while on May 20, the number of new cases was down to 387.

Government spokesperson for COVID-19 affairs Achmad Yurianto said on Sunday (May 10) that the fluctuation makes it hard to calculate the growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the country. Meanwhile, Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit Biostatistics Researcher Iqbal Elyazar said that Indonesia had yet to produce an epi curve, and therefore any claim of a decline in cases was not based on the right tool.

As of May 11 16:24 (GMT+7), Indonesia had reported 14,265 COVID-19 cases with 2,881 recoveries and 991 deaths.

State-owned commuter line operator Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) has been recording a spike in the number of passengers on the last three trains before iftar every day, at around 6:00 P.M. Prior to Ramadan, the trains were mostly empty almost every day, with only 10% of trains filled with a large number of passengers.

The leaders of five satellite regions in West Java that are part of the Greater Jakarta Area (Jabodetabek) responded to the report by appealing to the central government to, once again, temporarily halt commuter line services.

Meanwhile, the central government and the Jakarta administration are once again at loggerheads, as Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said that the central government has been covering all of the capital’s social aid expenses. Initially, the central government had only agreed to cover 2.5 million of the total 3.6 million beneficiaries in Jakarta, while the 1.1 million people had to be covered from the Jakarta administration’s own budget.

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