Highlights in the media today: Indonesia yet to meet WHO’s six requirements to transition into ‘new normal’, Jakarta to allow more places to reopen, low compliance of health protocols might push back economic recovery. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that Indonesia had yet to meet the six requirements to transition into the ‘new normal’, which included successful control of virus transmission, sufficient capacity of the health system, and minimized transmission risk in highly vulnerable areas.

On June 10, the WHO released a report on the situation in Indonesia from May 18 to June 7, which showed that several areas in Java had recorded a decrease in the number of new COVID-19 cases. However, with the exception of Yogyakarta, there was no decrease in the death toll.

According to the report, in all provinces in Java except for East Java, the number of deaths recorded among PDP was significantly higher than the number recorded among confirmed cases.

As of June 15 15:53 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 39,294 COVID-19 cases with 15,123 recoveries and 2,198 deaths.

The Jakarta administration has allowed half of wet markets, malls, and shopping centers in the province to reopen on Monday (June 15). Previously, the government had also allowed houses of worship, public transportation, offices, restaurants, and ride-hailing ‘ojek’ (motorcycle) drivers to resume operation.

However, people have not shown discipline in following health protocols. Many people were seen flocking to cafes and restaurants in Jakarta but disregarding physical distancing recommendations. Several wet markets in Banten and Jakarta were found to have failed in implementing strict health protocols, as many tenants and visitors were not wearing masks. Many people were also observed to not wear masks while exercising in the Gelora Bung Karno complex.

The Indonesian economic growth in Q3 2020 may potentially weaken if the policy to resume economic activities is not followed by compliance with health protocols. Economic recovery will not take place if the number of cases continues to increase every day.

On Wednesday (June 10), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report titled “Economic Outlook, June 2020”, which predicted that the Indonesian economic growth would contract by 2.8% this year, on the assumption that the COVID-19 infection curve peaked in April. In the worst case scenario, Indonesia’s economic growth may contract by 3.9% if a second COVID-19 wave occurs.

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