COVID-19 in Indonesia: Fighting the Pandemic

What's the government’s doing to handle this crisis?
Friday 3 April 2020
Indonesian soldiers and health officers prepare to move boxes of medical supplies from China. Photo: STR / AFP

The COVID-19 in Indonesia continues to wreak havoc, with the country having the most deaths in the Southeast Asian region. President Joko Widodo has also declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency on 31 March 2020.

“We are taking the option of imposing large-scale social restrictions […] as stipulated by Law No.6/2018 on health quarantines. We have also issued a government regulation on social restrictions, as well as a presidential decree on the emergency status,” Widodo said.

He also urged local and regional leaders to obey current regulations instead of forming their own set of rules, with the National Police set to legally step in to enforce them.

Additional measures taken for COVID-19 in Indonesia

CIVID-19 in Indonesia
Banners about COVID-19 in Purworejo, Central Java. Photo: Anwar Mustafa / AFP

According to The Jakarta Post, the port city of Balikpapan in East Kalimantan has enacted a curfew from 8pm – 4am. Pekalongan in Central Java has also enforced a curfew from 9pm – 4 am from 1 April. Similarly, the lockdown in Aceh province runs from 8:30 pm – 5.30 am, until 29 April, according to a signed public notice from Aceh Governor Nova Iriansyah.

Other notable efforts by the government to fight the COVID-19 in Indonesia includes a US$24.6 billion added package. This includes state spending for health care, a social welfare safety net and financial stimulus packages for small and medium businesses.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government expected a 10% drop in tax revenue this year, due to incentives for businesses to help them cope with the pandemic and the reduction of non-tax revenue on account of falling commodity prices.

This initiative also steadily cuts the corporate income tax rate from 25 % to 22% over the next couple of years to help reduce the corporate burden, preventing layoffs and bankruptcies in the process. Meanwhile, workers earning less than an approximate of US$12,200 are exempted from paying income taxes for six months.

Onto the healthcare sector, with 170 deaths and more than 1,700 cases, the COVID-19 in Indonesia also sees the birth of a designated hospital in Galang Island. Set to open its doors on 6 April, the healthcare centre currently comprises two zones, including a dormitory for medical workers, 20 isolation wards and 340 observation beds.


“We built the hospital [in Galang Island] to anticipate [rapid spread of] the disease. Hopefully, we will never have to use it to treat COVID-19 patients,” said Widodo. The President added that the hospital would serve as a research facility and infectious disease treatment center once the pandemic ended.

Source: The Jakarta Post, The Star