Highlights in the media today: Developed countries working to develop COVID-19 vaccines, Jokowi calls on East Java to control virus within two weeks, IMF projects Indonesia’s economic growth to contract by 0.3%. 

Researchers and the pharmaceutical industry are continuously trying to find a vaccine for COVID-19. More than a dozen vaccines developed by 100 candidates from several countries, such as the UK, China, Canada, and the United States, are in various stages of testing.

US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci was optimistic that there would be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 or early 2021. The University of Oxford is working with AstraZeneca to develop a vaccine called ChAdOxl n-CoV-19, which is now being tested on humans after previous trials on monkeys and pigs had shown positive results.

Meanwhile, a vaccine developed by China’s Academy of Military Science, called ARCoV, has entered its second phase of human trial.

As of June 26 15:58 (GMT+7), Indonesia had confirmed 51,427 COVID-19 cases with 21,333 recoveries and 2,683 deaths.

President Joko Widodo has urged the East Java administration to curb the rate of COVID-19 transmission in the region within two weeks. Jokowi expressed his disappointment over a COVID-19 task force report that said 70% of residents were still ignoring health protocols, such as failing to wear masks in public.

Jokowi stressed the importance of controlling the disease’s transmission in Surabaya and its satellite regencies of Sidoarjo and Gresik. Despite still struggling to control the spread of the virus, East Java has decided to end its large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on June 8 and began a “new normal” phase.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected the Indonesian economy to contract by 0.3% this year, according to its June update of the World Economic Outlook titled “A Crisis Like No Other, An Uncertain Recovery”, which was published on Wednesday (June 24).

The global economy, meanwhile, is expected to contract by 4.9%. The IMF stated that the pandemic has had a more negative impact than anticipated and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than the previous forecast.The IMF also highlighted a reversal of progress on poverty reduction and job creation, as unemployment has adverse impacts on low-income households.

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