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Highlights in the media today: More health workers fall victim to COVID-19, Jakarta reimposes PSBB, but less strict than before, Small businesses brace for impacts of Jakarta’s PSBB.

The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has confirmed the deaths of five additional doctors to COVID-19, bringing the total to 114.

IDI Mitigation Team Head Adib Khumaidi said on Saturday (September 12) that East Java had recorded the highest number of fatalities among doctors with 29, followed by North Sumatra with 21. Some 55 doctors or around 50% of the tally, were general practitioners, while the remainder were specialists, he added.

Based on IDI’s investigation, not all of the doctors had been infected in treatment or isolation rooms. An orthopedic doctor had reportedly been exposed to the respiratory disease while operating on a patient who was only later found to be COVID-19 positive.

The IDI has coordinated with the National COVID-19 Task Force to raise the issue of the protection of medical workers.

As of September 14 14:10 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 221,532 COVID-19 cases, with 158,405 recoveries and 8,841 deaths.

The Jakarta administration has decided to reimpose large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) starting on Monday (September 14), but the measures were more relaxed than the first PSBB in April. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Sunday (September 13) that the measures would last for two weeks and could be extended further.

Workplaces in 11 essential sectors will be allowed to remain open at 50% capacity, while private companies outside of these sectors as well as government offices must implement work-from-home policies or open but at a maximum of 25% capacity.

Under the reimposed PSBB, travelers would not need to provide exit and entry permits (SIKM), while app-based motorcycle taxis would still be allowed to carry passengers. Public transportation would be limited to 50% passenger capacity, while the odd-even license plate traffic policy would be suspended for the duration of the PSBB.

Masdalina Pane of the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI) said that the policy was not strict enough to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Masdalina also expressed concern over how the administration could distinguish between 25% and 50% capacity.

Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) Deputy Chairwoman Shinta Kamdani said that the reintroduction of PSBB in Jakarta would impact small businesses and the province’s economy, which has already contracted by  8.22% year-on-year from April-June.

She expected the retail, public transportation, and service sectors to feel an “immediate impact”, while other sectors might see less severe declines.

Most of around 600,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Jakarta sold food and beverages, and they were expected to get hit the hardest by the reinstatement of PSBB, Indonesian MSMEs Association (Akumindo) Chairman Ikhsan Ingratubun said.

Most small businesses in Jakarta had yet to adopt the use of e-commerce platforms. Only 13% of more than 60 million small businesses in Indonesia have used online platforms to sell their products.

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