October 20

…as MD leaves the building

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October 19

Chinese toddler’s condition improves after suspected Wuhan coronavirus infection in Manado

first_imgThe condition of a 2-year-old Chinese toddler who showed several symptoms of the coronavirus has improved after being put in an isolation room in the Prof. Kandou General Hospital in Manado, North Sulawesi.The boy had been in Manado with his parents since Jan. 21. He was taken to the hospital on Monday after he showed symptoms of the coronavirus.“His health condition is stable and is starting to improve. There are no more complaints, his body temperature remains at a normal range of 36.3 degrees [Celsius] and his cough has begun to improve as well,” the hospital’s medical services division head Hanry Takasenseran said on Friday. He, however, could not yet announce whether the toddler had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as he was still waiting for test results from the Health Ministry’s research and development center in Jakarta. The hospital previously took two blood samples from the patient.“We are still coordinating whether we have to wait for results of both samples or just one of them to know his condition,” Hanry said, adding that both of the toddler’s parents were in good condition.The isolation room in which the toddler was being observed was under strict guard, Hanry went on to say.He previously stated that the toddler had been experiencing fever and cough for the previous nine days, according to his medical record. The toddler was referred to the hospital by a private hospital in Manado. Read also: Chinese toddler becomes first suspected Wuhan coronavirus case in ManadoNorth Sulawesi Health Agency dismissed a rumor on social media that the toddlers’ family were hiding in the Four Points Hotel in Manado before eventually taking their children to the hospital. Rumor had it that the entire family was infected by the coronavirus. Residents were also told to stay away from the hotel as well as Manado Town Square shopping center, which the family visited.“It’s not true that they were hiding here [in the hotel]. They were monitored by travel agents who brought them here,” the agency head Debie KR Kalalo said. She also dismissed the report that the entire family was being put under observation in the hospital’s isolation room.Four Point Hotel spokesperson Novrico echoed Debie’s statement, saying the health condition of the remaining Chinese tourists staying at the hotel had been verified as good.Debie added that there was no scientific evidence that the novel coronavirus could be spread by airborne transmission, such as through the hospital’s air conditioning system. She went on to say that the virus would need respiratory droplets in order to survive.AFP reported that the official Chinese death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Friday to 636, with the government saying total infections had climbed past 30,000. Indonesia has yet to have any confirmed cases, although an Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore was tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. (syk)Topics :last_img read more

October 19

Europe locks down as global virus panic spreads

first_imgWith European nations already closing their borders, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she would ask the leaders of the bloc’s Schengen-free border zone to stop all non-essential into the area.”Concretely, all trips between non-European countries and EU countries will be suspended for 30 days,” Macron said in his address.This follows a ban on inbound travel to the United States, whose President Donald Trump steeled the nation for a fight against the virus that he warned could last months. European leaders are set to ban non-essential travel into the continent on Tuesday, the latest drastic attempt to curb the coronavirus pandemic that has upended society, battered markets and killed thousands around the world.With French President Emmanuel Macron describing the battle against COVID-19 as a “war”, governments around the world are imposing restrictions rarely seen in peace-time, slamming borders shut and forcing citizens to stay home.The crisis is infecting every sector of the economy and Wall Street stocks sank on Monday more than 12 percent in the worst session since the crash of 1987, despite emergency interventions by central banks and governments to shore up confidence. ‘Test, test, test’ The head of the World Health Organization called for every suspected coronavirus case to be tested, something which would send the known tally of the sick sky-rocketing.”You cannot fight a fire while blindfolded,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists. “Test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”Very few countries have been left untouched by the virus as it continues its relentless march across the globe, and a cascading number are taking increasingly drastic responses.Britain called for an end to all “non-essential” contact and travel, while Switzerland declared a state of emergency. Germany banned gatherings in churches, mosques and synagogues and said playgrounds and non-essential shops would close.Tens of millions of people in Southeast Asia were ordered into effective home quarantines, with Malaysia and the Philippines announcing Monday unprecedented lockdowns.In India, the world’s second most populous country where most schools and entertainment facilities have already shut down, the Taj Mahal was on Tuesday closed to visitors.Iran, the country with the highest number of infections and deaths in the Middle East, on Monday closed four key Shiite pilgrimage sites.Chile, Peru announced a total closure of their borders, while Canada closed its borders to foreigners, except Americans for now.Security forces on motorcycles enforced a “collective quarantine” in Venezuelan capital Caracas.And around the world people are having to contend with disruption to almost every aspect of daily life and new border restrictions have caused pandemonium as travellers scramble to get home.There are also growing doubts over the European football championships set to take place in 12 countries this summer and the Olympics in Japan, as the virus decimates the sporting calendar. ‘Apocalyptic vibe’ Trump said he was asking Americans to restrict gatherings to groups of fewer than 10 people — as the streets of New York and the capital Washington stood largely deserted.One customer at a French restaurant in Brooklyn said she felt the moves were unprecedented.”I want strong leadership, but it’s scary. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I don’t think my parents have, I don’t think anyone has,” Kelly McGee told AFP.”There’s something about being in this apocalyptic vibe and being with other people and experiencing it together that I think I still crave.”Trump acknowledged the United States “may be” heading into a recession due to the virus, as G7 leaders vowed to coordinate their response to the virus and “do whatever it takes, using all policy tools” — after a meeting held via videoconference.Every sector from tourism to food to aviation is affected, as the global economy effectively goes into shutdown.European car makers including Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot began shutting down their factories and major world airlines axed almost all flights temporarily, triggering pleas to help carriers survive.Emergency measures by the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan failed to lift spirits on Wall Street, which plunged nearly 13 percent and Asian stocks continued the volatility, Japan’s Nikkei-225 swinging from red to green in a choppy session.center_img After an initial outbreak in a Chinese city in December, Europe has emerged as the epicenter of the virus with more deaths now recorded outside China than inside.Italy — the hardest hit nation in Europe — announced another surge in deaths, taking its overall toll to more than 2,000 from a worldwide total of more than 7,000. More than 175,530 cases have been recorded in 145 countries.In a somber address to the nation, Macron ordered the French to stay at home for 15 days starting midday Tuesday, banning all non-essential trips or social contacts and warning violations would be “punished.” Topics :last_img read more

October 19

COVID-19: Toll roads into and out of Jakarta still operating normally

first_imgJokowi instructed his Cabinet to impose stricter rules on large-scale physical distancing coupled with “civil emergency policies” in an effort to contain the worsening COVID-19 outbreak in a Cabinet meeting on Monday.Regardless, Yusri said the Jakarta Police together with the Indonesian Military (TNI), state-owned toll operator PT Jasa Marga and related institutions had conducted joint training in preparation for the worst-case scenario of Jakarta being under quarantine.He also stressed the importance of social distancing as stipulated in the National Police chief edict issued on Mar. 22, which prohibits any mass gatherings. (trn) Topics : Despite calls from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to limit travel across regional borders in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, there are not yet any restrictions on traveling into or out of Jakarta, according to the Jakarta Police.All toll roads in the city will continue to operate normally, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus has said.”Jakarta hasn’t applied any regional quarantine, yet, so we are currently still disseminating information on social distancing. Any decision on a regional quarantine will be determined by the central government,” he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.last_img read more

October 19

Trans woman burned to death in North Jakarta

first_imgOrin said that not long after they had beaten Mira, two of the gang members poured roughly 2 liters of gasoline on her.“[One of the gang members] asked Mira, ‘Will you confess? If not I will burn you’,” Orin said. At that point, one of the gang members dropped a lighter on Mira, setting her on fire.Mira, who previously lived in Bekasi, West Java, before moving to North Jakarta, died at 12 p.m. on Sunday after she was admitted to Koja General Regional Hospital in Koja district, North Jakarta, on Saturday morning.Locals took Mira to the hospital and a neighbor, Hikmah, paid the costs of Mira’s hospitalization, autopsy and burial.LGBT rights group Arus Pelangi has called for donations to help defray the expenses Hikmah incurred.Topics : According to Yuni, a 48-year-old activist at transgender advocacy group Yayasan Srikandi Sejati, who was also Mira’s friend, the gang members accused Mira of stealing a truck driver’s phone and wallet. The truck driver had parked his vehicle near Mira’s home. Orin, another friend of Mira’s, was there when the incident occurred during the early hours of Saturday. Read also: ‘Yes, I am transgender’: Indonesian singer braves hostility in emotional videoOrin told the Post that the gang members, who worked as informal security guards for trucks that parked in their neighborhood, had beaten up Mira after they could not find the goods they accused her of stealing.  A 42-year-old trans woman named Mira was burned to death in Cilincing, North Jakarta, allegedly by several gang members who had accused Mira of theft.The Cilincing police confirmed that the incident occurred but declined to provide any details on the case.“We are still searching for the perpetrators. Please pray for us so we can find them,” the Cilincing Police’s head of criminal investigation division, Adj. Comr. Bryan Rio Wicaksono, told The Jakarta Post on Monday.last_img read more

October 19

Garuda Indonesia to test passengers for COVID-19

first_imgAirlines operating routes in Indonesia have grounded their aircraft to comply with the government’s ban on travel to and from COVID-19 “red zones”. The large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) implemented in major Indonesian cities with hub airports has also heavily impacted airline frequency.Irfan said that the flag carrier had already implemented health protocols including regular disinfection of aircraft, temperature scanning and check-ups for passengers, and onboard physical distancing.The airline had already suspended its in-flight distribution of newspapers and magazines as well as pillows, and switched to using disposable food packaging for its in-flight meals to prevent indirect transmission through contaminated surfaces and objects. It also plans to provide hand sanitizer for all passengers.Flag carrier Emirates Airlines of the United Arab Emirates became the first airline in the world to implement on-site COVID-19 rapid testing for passengers on April 15. The serology test returns results on blood samples within 10 minutes.Topics : Airline passengers may need to anticipate that the new normal for air travel could require that they be tested for COVID-19 before boarding.Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is planning to provide rapid testing services for future passengers to curb the spread of the highly infectious virus on airplanes, president director Irfan Setiaputra told a hearing with House of Representatives Commission VI on Wednesday.“There is a plan that we, along with Angkasa Pura I, Angkasa Pura II and the air transport authority, will conduct [the COVID-19] rapid test for anyone [on] aircraft once flights [resume],” Irfan said, referring to the two state-owned airport operators.last_img read more

October 19

France to subsidize clean car purchases to save automakers

first_imgTopics : French automakers Renault and PSA, whose brands include Peugeot, Citroen and Opel, are reeling from factory and dealership closures that sent French auto sales plunging 89 percent in April from the year earlier.Renault in particular was already struggling to recover from the management crisis following the ouster of Carlos Ghosn last year after his arrest in Japan on financial misconduct charges while head of its alliance partner Nissan.The French state is already preparing a five-billion-euro ($5.4-billion) emergency loan for Renault, which has announced a plan to cut spending by two billion euros that could include site closures and the phase-out of several older models.But analysts note that Renault’s total market capitalization now stands at just 5.4 billion euros, and its credit ratings have been cut to “junk” status by major ratings agencies. Like other European carmakers, Renault and PSA are also racing to shift to electric vehicles as authorities worldwide sharply reduce emission limits.Le Maire also said he would present by July 1 a rescue plan for France’s aeronautics sector “and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that go with it, in the Toulouse region and elsewhere,” a reference to the city where pan-European planemaker Airbus is headquartered.center_img France is preparing a package of measures to shore up automakers stung by the coronavirus crisis, including subsidies to encourage purchases of electric vehicles, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday.”I will announce a plan within two weeks… to relaunch car buying as well as the industry’s transition to a more sustainable model,” Le Maire told France Info radio.”That means supporting purchases of clean cars. We need to use this crisis as a lever for accelerating our environment transition and to encourage the French to buy cars that today are still too expensive,” he said.last_img read more

October 19

BNI sees 41% profit dive in first half over deteriorating asset quality

first_imgIts non-performing loan (NPL) ratio rose significantly to 3 percent from 1.8 percent recorded in June last year, according to BNI’s presentation material obtained by The Jakarta Post. It is slightly lower than the NPL ratio of the industry at 3.1 percent in June, Financial Services Authority (OJK) data show.BNI’s third-party funds grew 11.3 percent yoy to Rp 662.4 trillion in the first half, while its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) stood at 16.7 percent in June.Despite the flatlining net interest income and gloomy profit outlook, the bank is still upbeat that its non-interest income will continue to grow at the end of this year.Sigit said the bank recorded a 9.2 percent yoy increase in the first half on ATM and e-channel fees as the pandemic pushed customers to conduct transactions using its internet and mobile banking services. At the same time, foreign exchange trading grew 83.8 percent from last year due to the increase in derivative transactions.“As a result, our non-interest income grew 3.2 percent in the first half of this year and we are confident that it will continue to grow positively until the end of this year,” he said.The bank still managed to record positive loan growth during the first half of this year despite slowing loan demand.BNI’s loan disbursement grew 5 percent to Rp 576.78 trillion during the period. The figure was well above the banking industry’s growth of 1.49 percent in June, according to the OJK.“We will maintain this positive growth while being more selective in disbursing loans this year,” said Sigit, adding that the bank expected its loan disbursement to grow a little over 4 percent at the end of 2020.The state-owned bank will also continue to disburse more loans for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as labor-intensive and export-oriented corporations to contribute to the national economic recovery program (PEN).“So far we have disbursed Rp 9.15 trillion in loans to 36,000 customers,” director Tambok Simanjuntak said.She added that the disbursement was equal to 1.83 times the government’s fund placement in BNI, amounting to Rp 5 trillion.The government has placed a total of Rp 30 trillion in four state-owned banks, as part of the country’s COVID-19 response worth Rp 695.2 trillion, which is aimed at bolstering the economy and strengthening the healthcare system. The placement is supposed to help bank liquidity and stimulate credit growth amid the economic impact of the pandemic.BNI director Adi Sulistyowati added that the bank had restructured Rp 119.3 trillion in loans, equal to 21.9 percent of its total disbursed loans.Jasa Utama Capital equity analyst Chris Apriliony said on Wednesday that the less-than-stellar first half performance was somewhat expected given the slowing economy during the start of the pandemic.“However, there is still hope in the second half as economic activity has slowly returned to normal following easing restrictions,” he said.BNI’s share price, listed under the code BBNI on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), had lost 35.67 percent of its value since the beginning of the year. As of 1:06 p.m. on Wednesday, the share was unchanged at Rp 5,050 apiece.Topics : State-owned Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) booked a profit decline of more than 40 percent during the first half of this year as the COVID-19 pandemic caused its asset quality to deteriorate.The publicly listed bank booked Rp 4.46 trillion (US$301.34 million) in net profit in the first half of this year, down 41.6 percent compared to the same period in 2019.BNI director Sigit Prastowo attributed the sharp profit decline to rising provision. “We had to set aside bigger provisioning because the pandemic is causing our asset quality to deteriorate,” he said during a virtual press briefing on Tuesday.Provisioning grew 88.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 7.47 trillion, in line with its coverage ratio, which increased sharply to 214.1 percent from 133.5 percent in 2019.Sigit said the bank expected its provisioning to continue to affect its bottom line until the end of this year. However, he said the bank would try to maintain positive profit growth at the end of 2020 albeit with a lower figure than the previous year.On top of that, the bank’s net interest income flatlined, growing only 1 percent to Rp 17.8 trillion due to delayed loan repayments.last_img read more

October 19

Government to accelerate state capital injections for SOEs

first_img“To disburse the funds, we need to be quick, but that doesn’t mean we can violate the rules of governance,” he added, explaining that the capital injection process needed to comply with the relevant government regulations (PP) and that a regulation on the disbursement of the funds was still being processed. The government plans to inject Rp 7.5 trillion into state-owned infrastructure company PT Hutama Karya, while state-owned financing firms PT Bahana Pembinaan Usaha Indonesia (Bahana) and PT Permodalan Nasional Madani will receive Rp 6 trillion and Rp 1.5 trillion, respectively. State-owned PT Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation and state asset management company PT Perusahaan Pengelola Aset will receive Rp 500 billion and Rp 5 trillion, respectively, in state capital injections.The capital injections are part of the Rp 695.2 trillion in stimulus provided by the government to strengthen Indonesia’s healthcare system and cushion the pandemic’s economic impacts. The Finance Ministry’s State Assets Directorate General (DJKN) has said it will accelerate the disbursement of Rp 20.5 trillion (US$1.4 billion) in state capital injections (PMN) for five state-owned companies. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have an important role to play in supporting the country’s economic recovery, Meirijal Nur, the DJKN’s separated state assets director, said. The capital injection plan is a part of the government’s national economic recovery program.“We are trying to do it as fast as possible. It will be done by September at the latest”, Meirijal said during a media briefing on Friday. Meirijal expressed optimism the funds disbursed to the SOEs would eventually reach the bottom economic layer of society. Permodalan Nasional Madani, for instance, finances ultra-microenterprises through its Mekaar program that targets mostly women entrepreneurs. Aside from backing several SOEs through direct support in the form of capital injections, the government will allocate funds to Bahana, PT Asuransi Kredit Indonesia (Askrindo), PT Jaminan Kredit Indonesia (Jamkrindo) to give loan guarantee to banks and financing companies that will then provide loans to cooperatives and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The government has also allocated funds to be channeled through the Finance Ministry’s special mission vehicles (SMVs) to several chosen SOEs. National flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia and steelmaker PT Krakatau Steel will receive loans of Rp 8.5 trillion, Rp 3.5 trillion and Rp 3 trillion, respectively, through the SMVs to support their operations. The SMVs include infrastructure financing guarantee agency PT Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia, infrastructure financing firm PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur ( SMI), secondary mortgage company PT Sarana Multigriya Finansial (SMF) and Indonesia Export Financing Agency.Meanwhile, state-owned plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara and housing company PT Perumnas will receive Rp 4 trillion and Rp 650 billion, respectively, to manage their liquidity. “We have been very selective. We don’t give funds recklessly to SOEs,” Finance Ministry State Assets Director General Isa Rachmatarwata said during the media briefing, adding that the agency designed support schemes based on its assessment of the SOEs’ needs. “We are giving to those that have been really impacted [by the pandemic] but on the other hand, still have the capacity to accelerate the economic recovery,” Isa added.Topics :last_img read more

October 19

Rally demanding agrarian reform colors celebration of National Farmer’s Day

first_img“Initially we planned to stage a rally involving 2,000 people. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jakarta Police only allowed 30 people to gather in front of the House compound,” Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) secretary-general Dewi Kartika told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Dewi explained that they also staged similar protests in 60 locations all across the archipelago.Read also: Police arrest customary leader in Central Kalimantan over land disputeActivists staged the rallies to express the disappointment of Indonesian farmers, particularly with regard to recurrent land disputes between farmers and corporations, she said. The coronavirus pandemic did not stop agrarian reform activists from staging a protest in front of the House of Representatives compound in Central Jakarta to mark this year’s National Farmer’s Day, observed annually in Indonesia every Sept. 24.The protestors, from the National Committee of Agrarian Reform (KNPA) — an alliance of dozens of civil society groups — demanded the government realize President “Jokowi” Widodo’s agrarian reform program and protested against the controversial omnibus bill on job creation.They also placed 120 scarecrows dressed as farmers in front of the House complex in Senayan as symbols of those who could not attend the protest in person. “During the pandemic alone, 39 agrarian conflicts have occurred all across the country, with many resulting in violence and intimidation of farmers,” Dewi said.She claimed the government intentionally created an unconducive environment for farmers by allowing companies to enforce evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.House members exacerbated this situation by continuing the deliberation of the controversial omnibus bill, she added.”We want to make it very clear: farmers are against the omnibus bill on job creation. All this time, people think that the bill only concerns labor, however, the bill also deals with land rights, mining, forestry and plantations,” Dewi added.Read also: Concerns of transparency, inclusivity raised as One Map nears completionFarmers have long expressed opposition to the bill, which contains provisions that many believe will affect their livelihoods.For instance, the bill seeks to relax food imports as one of the main sources of domestic food supplies by revising some articles in the 2013 Farmers’ Protection and Empowerment Law, which stipulates that local sources of food should be prioritized and that imports should be avoided where possible.Dewi further said that the bill also aimed to amend the 1960 Basic Agrarian Law that protects farmers from unfair land procurement.The bill would authorize the establishment of a new body to act as land managers under the authority of the central government to ensure a smooth land-acquisition process for investors, which would lead to even more harm to farmers.”The bill would eradicate several prerequisites needed before converting farming land,” she said.Topics :last_img read more