The data of people under surveillance (PDP) and patients under treatment (ODP) as well as patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in each subdistrict of the city can be accessed through the website lawancovid-19.surabaya.go.id.ODP is the government’s classification for people who have traveled recently in infected regions or have come in contact with confirmed COVID-19 patient but do not show any symptoms. The PDP status is given to people who already have symptoms typical of COVID-19 and are under medical care but whose status needs to be confirmed through a test.Read also: Lockdown already in place? NGOs question government’s physical distancing policySurabaya released the map after the East Java provincial administration released its own version of the map, which places Surabaya in the red zone. On March 24, the map showed that 134 people in Surabaya were under observation, seven patients were receiving treatment and 23 tested positive for COVID-19. These people were found across 77 subdistricts in 28 districts of Surabaya.Fikser explained that the data was to be updated by 6 p.m. every day. “If the Central administration sends us an update after 6 p.m, we will add it to the next day’s update. The deadline for uploading national data is at 4 p.m, provincial data is at 5 p.m and regency or city data is at 6 p.m,” he said. Surabaya Legislative Council deputy speaker Reni Astuti lauded the Surabaya administration for its transparency with regard to the spread of COVID-19 in the city.She expressed hope that the people would be more diligent in protecting themselves after seeing the map. Read also: COVID-19 spreads among Indonesian government officials“We encourage the dissemination [of information] through the map, because it helps the public,” Reni said. The Surabaya administration has conducted various measures to stem the transmission of COVID-19, including by using drones to spray disinfectant across the city. Authorities have also extended school holidays and installed hundreds of hand-washing stations.Moreover, the city has prepared a special building in South Surabaya equipped with 30 beds to isolate patients showing mild symptoms.They also installed disinfection chambers at two arrival terminals of Juanda International Airport in Surabaya. These chambers will be upgraded to a tunnel system to speed up the screening procedure for arriving passengers.The administration has postponed three planned events to commemorate Surabaya’s 727th anniversary – Rujak Uleg Festival, Cak & Ning Pageant Grand Final and Surabaya Vaganza – which had been scheduled to take place on April 5, 9 and 12, respectively. (dpk)Topics : The city administration of Surabaya in East Java has made public a map displaying COVID-19 cases down to the subdistrict level to increase people’s awareness about the need to protect themselves. Surabaya Communication and Information Agency head M. Fikser said the city administration had decided to do so to warn the public not to take the pandemic lightly.“This is a serious issue. We don’t wish to make the public panic, we just hope the public becomes aware that this issue requires the public’s active participation to overcome it,” Fikser told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Although large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) officially started less than two weeks ago in Jakarta, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had urged the public in mid-March to work, study and pray from home to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.His call prompted both small and large businesses and shopping malls to close their doors temporarily, while essential businesses like supermarkets and restaurants began serving only takeaway and delivery services.Declining consumption loan demand is feared to spill over to cooler household spending, which accounts for more than half of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP).Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) economist Ryan Kiryanto projected that consumers would still refrain from applying for new loans given the unfavorable economic situation.“The PSBB policy is hindering people’s mobility and discouraging them from applying for new consumptive loans,” he explained. “Business players will also refrain from applying for new loans as they wait for the latest developments of the pandemic.”The highly contagious pneumonia-like illness has infected more than 6,500 people in the country and caused at least 580 deaths as of Sunday afternoon, official data showed.Fitch Solutions country risk and industry research projected in its note on Friday that Indonesia’s private consumption growth will slow to 1.2 percent this year from 5 percent last year because of mounting unemployment, as around 2.8 million people have lost their jobs so far due to severe disruptions to business activities.It expected the country’s economic growth to slow to 2.8 percent this year, far lower than 5.02 percent achieved last year.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on March 18 that Indonesia’s economic growth might drop to 4.5 to 4.9 percent in this year’s first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic weakened economic activities. The government is also bracing for slower economic growth this year as it projected the country’s GDP growth to fall to a 21-year low of 2.3 percent under the baseline scenario and even contract to 0.4 percent under the worst-case scenario.Despite the apparent decline in new loan demand, the central bank’s survey still reflected an optimism that demand will increase in the second quarter of this year due to relaxed loan disbursement policies, especially on working capital and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) loans.Despite slowing economic activities in several major cities, the survey’s respondents were still optimistic that this year’s loan disbursement rate would continue to grow.The Health Ministry had so far approved PSBB requests from at least 16 cities and regencies to curb the spread of COVID-19.“Respondents project 2020’s loan growth to reach 5.5 percent year-on-year [yoy], lower than the previous survey of 9.4 percent and 2019’s loan growth realization of 6.1 percent,” the survey reads.However, Ryan was of the view that this year’s loan growth would reach 5 percent this year as he expected the pandemic to continue beyond the first half of 2020.Piter projected an even lower growth projection of 2 to 4 percent this year, saying that the pandemic would continue to the third quarter, causing loan supply and demand to further decline until at least September.“If this happens, the economy will slowly recover in the fourth quarter and the loan disbursement rate will rebound in 2021.”Topics : Slowing loan demand in the first quarter of this year is expected to continue up until the end of 2020 and can potentially drag down Indonesia’s economic growth, as the COVID-19 pandemic hits business activities, economists have said.The latest banking survey published on Thursday by Bank Indonesia (BI) showed that the weighted net balance of new loan demand in the first three months of this year had reached 23.7 percent, significantly lower than the figure in last year’s fourth quarter of 70.6 percent.The weighted net balance is calculated by multiplying net balance — resulting from the percentage difference of respondents projecting an up and down — with each economic sector’s weigh. A positive result indicates an expansion while a negative one reflects a contraction. The slowdown in new loan demand happened across all segments of working capital, investment and consumption loans. However, the steepest decline occurred in consumption loans, which contracted 7.6 percent during the January to March period from 75.8 percent growth in 2019’s last quarter.The shrinking consumption loan demand was caused by a contraction in unsecured loans, while demand for other types of consumption loans, like mortgage loan, automotive loans and credit cards, recorded a slowdown in growth, the survey result showed.Center of Reform on Economics (Core) Indonesia economist Piter Abdullah told The Jakarta Post on Friday that the decline in consumption loans had been triggered by the government’s social restriction policy.“This caused a decline in demand for non-food items, like cars and houses, as the policy limits the public’s mobility,” he said.
Could there be a leak? US diplomatic cables seen by The Washington Post earlier said that officials were concerned about inadequate safety standards related to researchers’ handling of SARS-like bat coronaviruses in the high-security lab.The institute has said it received samples of the then-unknown virus on December 30, determined the viral genome sequence on January 2 and submitted information on the pathogen to the WHO on January 11.Shi Zhengli, one of China’s leading experts on bat coronaviruses and deputy director of the Wuhan P4 lab, said she would “bet her life that [the new coronavirus] had nothing to do with the lab”, according to Chinese state media.And in an interview with Scientific American, Shi said the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence did not match any of the bat coronaviruses her laboratory had previously collected and studied. What do its researchers do? Work by the lab’s scientists helped to shed light on the COVID-19 pathogen in the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan.In February, they published work concluding that the new virus shared a 79.6 percent sequence identity to the SARS coronavirus, and that it was 96 percent identical at the whole-genome level to a coronavirus found in bats.The lab’s researchers had already conducted extensive investigations on the links between bats and disease outbreaks in China, and had highlighted the need to prepare for viruses potentially spreading out of their natural reservoirs into human communities.Scientists think COVID-19 originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal like a pangolin, but there is no definitive answer so far. The Chinese laboratory accused by top American officials of being the source of the coronavirus pandemic conducts research on the world’s most dangerous diseases.US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both claimed that there is evidence the pathogen came from the lab in Wuhan — the city where the disease was first detected late last year.But the World Health Organization said Washington had offered no evidence to support the “speculative” claims, and scientists believe the coronavirus jumped from animals to humans, possibly at a Wuhan market selling wild animals. Topics : The top US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has echoed the WHO’s statement, telling National Geographic that all evidence so far “strongly indicates” a natural origin.China has strongly denied the allegations, but speculation and conspiracy theories have persisted.Here are some key questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology: What do scientists know about the virus? Researchers have noted that while there is no proof for the lab accident theory, there is also no clear evidence that the virus came from the Wuhan market.A study by a group of Chinese scientists published in The Lancet in January found that the first COVID-19 patient had no connection to the market, and neither did 13 of the first 41 confirmed cases.Professor Leo Poon of The University of Hong Kong said the scientific community’s consensus was that the virus is not human-made.”We need to look at the origin of this virus. It is important, because from a public health point of view, we want to know how it happened, and [if we can] learn from this,” he said.David Heymann, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, added: “We have a hypothesis that it came from a live animal market, and I haven’t seen anybody provide evidence that shows to the contrary.” What does it handle? The Wuhan institute houses the largest virus bank in Asia, which preserves more than 1,500 strains.The complex contains Asia’s first maximum-security lab equipped to handle Class 4 pathogens (P4) such as Ebola.The 300-million-yuan ($42 million) P4 lab opened in 2018. A P3 lab has been in operation since 2012.While the US intelligence community said it had concluded the coronavirus was not human-made, it added that it would continue to investigate if the outbreak started from contact with infected animals or from “an accident” at the Wuhan lab.
The province has recorded an average daily increase of 138 new cases in the past five days and recorded the second-highest daily increase on Saturday with 125 new cases, behind only East Java, which recorded 176 new cases.The South Sulawesi provincial administration had previously caught flak for allowing over 8,000 members of Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide Islamic missionary movement, to gather for an international event held in Gowa regency despite calls for physical distancing amid the pandemic.The mass gathering was designated a COVID-19 cluster as many confirmed cases across the country were linked to the event. As of Saturday, South Sulawesi had reported 1,716 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 117 deaths linked to the disease. (rfa)Topics : South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah has defended his administration’s COVID-19 response in the wake of the recent surge in confirmed cases in the province, saying that the new cases were a result of widespread testing.“The high number of positive cases shows that we’ve been working. It’s the result of mass testing, so that we can quickly take action [to assist] residents who have tested positive to break the chain of infection,” Nurdin said on Friday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.South Sulawesi has since leapfrogged West Java to become the province with the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with 2,707 total cases as of Saturday, behind only East Java and Jakarta.
The Indian government on Monday has banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, citing they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.The decision came amid a huge economic backlash against China following the June 15 clashes at Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers died in action and more than 70 were injured.The India’s ministry of electronics and information technology, invoking it’s power under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of state and public order, the government said in a statement.Topics :
The group also asked the administration to work with allies and partners to hold a Security Council meeting at the United Nations to appoint a special rapporteur to look into the situation in Xinjiang province.The United States and China have been at loggerheads for months over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s imposition of a new security law in Hong Kong. It is also ramping up pressure on China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps there. China has denied mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training and help fight extremism.Last month, President Donald Trump signed a bill, which Congress passed with only one “no” vote, calling for sanctions over the repression of Uighurs. The legislation for the first time calls for sanctions on a member of China’s powerful Politburo, Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, as responsible for “gross human rights violations.”Topics : More than 75 US senators and House members on Thursday urged the Trump administration to take a tougher stance on China over its crackdown in that country’s Xinjiang province and make a formal determination whether its treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other groups constitutes an atrocity, including genocide.”It is time for action,” members of the Senate and House of Representatives, led by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking them to sanction the Chinese officials responsible for the mistreatment of Uighurs.”These human rights abuses demand a response from the United States as well as the international community because evidence strongly indicates that the Chinese government is intentionally working to destroy and essentially wipe out Uyghur families, culture, and religious adherence and encouraging violence against women,” said the letter, seen by Reuters.
ASI data also show that sales of cement bags, commonly used by retail customers, accounted for 76.4 percent of the total cement sold during the first half of the year. Adi also said that Semen Indonesia would maximize the use of its production facilities in Indonesia and abroad to meet the demand.“We are focusing on integrating our business with PT Solusi Bangun Indonesia and unlocking our full potential,” he said.Semen Indonesia acquired 6.18 billion shares in publicly listed Solusi Bangun, previously Holcim Indonesia, from Dutch cement maker Holderfin BV in 2019.As for the company’s financial performance this year, the firm’s finance director Dody Diniawan said it would all depend on cement sales during the second half.“If sales in the second half are flat, we expect that our performance in the first half would continue until the end of this year,” he said.Semen Indonesia’s profit grew by 26.34 percent yoy to Rp 612.47 billion (US$42 million) in the first half of the year despite revenue contracting 1.9 percent yoy to Rp 16.03 trillion.Mirae Asset Sekuritas analyst Mimi Halimin wrote in a research note dated Aug. 10 that the worst time for the company had passed.“We believe that the weak performance in the second quarter will be the worst performance for this year, and we still expect a recovery in the third and fourth quarters of this year,” she said in her research note.She said the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) the government implemented from April to June to curb the spread of the coronavirus had been suppressing cement demand.She projected that the company’s revenue would reach Rp 38.6 trillion and profit Rp 2.6 trillion this year, thanks to extensive efficiency efforts.In 2019, the company had booked Rp 40.3 trillion in revenue and Rp 2.39 trillion in profit.The analyst’s statement was echoed by Semen Indonesia senior vice president group head of finance Andriano Hosny Panangian, who stated that the company would ensure that its raw material and operational costs remain efficient during this pandemic. In the first half, it has pushed down the cost of revenue by 4.1 percent yoy.It would also continue to aggressively lower its debt, so that it could lower its financing cost and achieve profit growth this year, he said.As of June, Semen Indonesia recorded a 24.7 percent decline in short-term debt of Rp 910.92 billion compared to the end of 2019. Its long-term bank loans also declined by 4.9 percent to Rp 16.78 trillion in the same period.The company’s aggressive repayment efforts since 2019 resulted in a fall in financing cost by 20 percent yoy to Rp 1.2 trillion.“We would also use our capital expenditure [capex] for essential purposes only to ensure all-round efficiency,” Andriano said, adding that the company had used Rp 600 billion of its Rp 1 trillion capex allocation as of June.Semen Indonesia’s shares, listed on Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) under the ticker code SMGR, have lost 11.9 percent since the beginning of the year. On Friday at 1:09 p.m., their were trading down 0.94 percent at Rp 10,575 apiece. Indonesia Cement Association (ASI) data show that nationwide cement demand fell to 12.52 million tons in the period of April to June, down from 13.75 million tons in the same period last year.Cement sales in the first half of the year have dipped 7.72 percent year-on-year (yoy) nationwide to 27.1 million tons, according to the association’s data.Despite the slowdown, Adi said, the company was looking to tap into other opportunities to boost sales, including the retail housing market.“We see an uptick in cement bag sales during the first half of this year as home renovation is on the rise during this pandemic,” he said. State-owned cement producer PT Semen Indonesia expects domestic cement demand to contract by 13 to 15 percent this year.The company’s marketing and supply chain director, Adi Munandir, said on Wednesday that the projection was based on the delay in private construction projects and the government’s infrastructure development as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.“This has caused cement demand to contract by 8.8 percent in July, and we expect this slump will continue until the end of the year,” he said during a virtual press briefing. Topics :
Oman has sent an ambassador to Syria, becoming the first Gulf Arab state to do so after they downgraded or shut missions in Damascus in 2012 over attacks by the government there on protests at the start of what turned into a war.Oman is one of the rare Arab countries that kept diplomatic relations with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad after the 2011 uprising, despite pressure from the United States and other Gulf allies.Syria’s foreign minister on Sunday accepted the credentials of Oman’s Ambassador Turki bin Mahmood al-Busaidy, appointed to the post in a royal decree in March, state news agency ONA said. Some Arab states are seeking reconciliation with Damascus after decisive gains by pro-government forces in the conflict, aiming to expand their clout in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran, who have backed Assad.Oman, whose Sultan Haitham pledged when assuming power in January to continue maintaining friendly ties with all nations, kept its embassy open, as did Bahrain.The United Arab Emirates re-opened its mission to Damascus in late 2018 in a diplomatic boost to Assad, and has a charge d’affaires there.The UAE was one of several regional states to back rebel groups in Syria, though its role was less prominent than those of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have so far held off re-establishing ties with Damascus.Kuwait has said it would re-open its mission in Damascus if there is agreement in the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership in 2011.Assad has recovered control of most of Syria with support from Russia along with Iran – Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s foe – and Iranian-backed Sh’ite Muslim groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.The United States has imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting off funds for Assad’s government and warned that anyone doing business with Damascus was also at risk of being blacklisted.Topics :