Highlights in the media today: Indonesia fatality rate higher than global average, KPU officially bans rallies, concerts for regional polls, Govt props up economy through social safety net programs.
With the death toll surpassing the 10,000 mark, the country’s fatality rate reached 3.9%—higher than the global average of 3.05%. However, the average recovery rate only reached 73.2%, still below the global average of 73.77%.
The growing number of new cases and positivity rate showed that the situation had deteriorated. In the past week, the country recorded a positivity rate of 16.1%, or higher than the number recorded in mid-September (14.8%) and late August (13.4%).
As of September 25 15:55 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 266,845 COVID-10 cases, with 196,196 recoveries and 10,218 deaths. Yesterday, the government had reported another record-high daily number of 4,823 new cases.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) has entirely banned candidates running in the December regional elections from holding rallies or other crowd-pulling events, such as concerts, bazaars, and art performances.
The prohibition was laid out in the latest KPU regulation issued on Wednesday (September 24) that revised a previous regulation allowing rallies and concerts, potential sources of COVID-19 transmission.
The new policy only allowed online events on social media and video conferencing platforms during the campaign period, which begins on Saturday (September 16) and will last until a few days before voting day. Candidates, members of their supporting political parties, and campaign teams violating the regulation will receive warnings from the KPU.
The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) will report them to the police if they repeat the violation. The new policy grants Bawaslu the power to disband any campaign activity that violated social distancing rules.
The government, through its ministries and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), have rolled out social safety net programs to prop up the economy.
For instance, according to Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI) Business Development and Management Director Febriyanto on Thursday (September 24), SOEs in the food cluster which had released an online application called Mitra Warung Pangan to make it easier for small shop owners to purchase goods from the SOEs.
So far, 2,500 grocery kiosks have joined the app. Febriyanto said that they were aiming at getting 15,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises to join the app by end of 2020.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Ministry has come out with a labor-intensive program that would provide job opportunities for people impacted by COVID-19. The program included the building, maintaining, and repairing of various transportation facilities. As of September, the program had already absorbed 16,000 people, Transportation Ministry General Secretary Djoko Sasono said.
Kompas.com, September 24, 2020, Indonesia confirms 266,845 COVID-19 cases
Kompas, September 25, 2020, p.1,15, COVID-19 death toll surpasses 10,000 mark
The Jakarta Post, September 23, 2020, p.1, KPU bans rallies, concerts for regional polls
Kompas, September 25, 2020, p.1,15, Govt continues to maintain economic resilience