Highlights in the media today: COVID-19 survivors might get reinfected, expert says it is too early to relax large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), downtrend of manufacturing industry might continue post-pandemic.

As of May 12 16:01 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 14,749 COVID-19 cases with 3,063 recoveries and 1,007 deaths.

Although rare, patients who had recovered from COVID-19 could be reinfected with the virus. North Sumatra COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson Aris Yudhariasyah said that there were three possibilities by which a patient could contract the virus again after recovery: false test result;  the patient still had the virus but it was dormant, and then it became active when the patient’s immune system weakened; or the patient was exposed to the six other types of coronavirus.

Experts said that it was too soon to relax the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and resume normal economic activities. Universitas Padjadjaran epidemiologist Panji Hadisoemarto said on Monday (May 11) that easing the restrictions might trigger an infection boom, unless the move was supported by valid data that showed a significant decrease of COVID-19 cases had occurred.

Indonesia’s manufacturing industry might take some time to recover from the pandemic. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Economic Department Head Yose Rizal Damuri said that the sluggish growth of Indonesia’s manufacturing industry, already the worst among Asian countries in April, might further decline in the coming months as demand would remain low and many factories would remain closed.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data published on May 5, manufacturing growth slowed to 2.06% in Q1 2020 from 3.85% recorded during the same period last year.

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