Highlights in the media today: The 30-59 age group tops list of COVID-19 fatalities in Indonesia, operating industries may produce new infection clusters, millions of laborers may face layoffs.

As of May 4 16:30 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 11,587 COVID-19 cases, with 864 deaths and 1,954 recoveries.

Government Spokesman on COVID-19 Affairs Achmad Yurianto revealed that 351 deaths were recorded among people aged 30 to 59— higher than for any other age group. University of Manchester public health expert Gindo Tampubolon called it an anomaly on May 3 as the majority of deaths in other countries were recorded among the elderly.

Gindo suspected that the anomaly was due to the high prevalence of young Indonesians at risk of cardiovascular diseases. Indonesian Society of Respirology Chairman Agus Dwi Susanto revealed that 63% of patients with severe COVID-19 infection at the Persahabatan Hospital were suffering from other underlying ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other chronic respiratory diseases.

As some factories continue to operate during the pandemic, Indonesia might need to expect new clusters in industrial areas. HM Sampoerna reported that two of its factory workers in Surabaya had died of the virus, while 100 employees had tested positive. Meanwhile, around 51 people have tested positive at Freeport Indonesia’s mining district in Tembagapura.

Data from the Economic Affairs Coordinating Ministry showed that 15,747 factories remained in operation in regions where large-scale social restrictions have been implemented. They employed only 4.7 million out of the 17 million people usually working in the sector.

The government is predicting that 2.9 million to 5.2 million workers could lose their jobs during the outbreak, thus erasing last year’s gains of 2.5 million new jobs. The government must ensure the protection of workers’ rights, especially laborers, as the country braces for waves of unemployment.

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