Indonesia to impose tougher COVID-19 measures

Indonesia will today institute new COVID-19 restrictions, banning crowds from congregating in public spaces ahead of Christmas and New Year’s

indonesia covid

Photo: Reuters/ Ajen Dinar Ulfiana

Indonesia will today institute new COVID-19 restrictions, banning crowds from congregating in public spaces ahead of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. In the capital, Jakarta, 75% of all government employees will be asked to work from home.

Prime Minister Joko Widodo’s decision to implement tighter policies follows an increase in cases since early November. Indonesia has recorded over 629,000 cases and more than 19,000 deaths from the coronavirus, suffering the highest toll in Southeast Asia.

COVID-19 has had significant impacts on the Indonesian economy. Although the Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index has returned to pre-pandemic levels, tourism, which accounts for 4% of GDP, has been severely impacted.

Expect the economy to slow further. Unemployment will continue rising unless the government increases support to tourism and other service industries, in which nearly half of all Indonesians work, as they face another round of COVID-induced restrictions. To combat falling non-oil and gas exports, the government may encourage industries to refocus: as one of the world’s largest textile producers, Indonesia could capitalize by continuing to ramp up facemask production. The Indonesian rupiah’s valuation will continue to fluctuate, as it has throughout past months, as Indonesia struggles to bounce back from the pandemic.

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