ADB Help on Vaccines, GeNose in Airports, Decline in Red Zones Claimed, Vaccine Delivery Slowed
Apr 01, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
$450 Million ADB Loan to Help Indonesia on Covid-19 Vaccines
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $450 million loan to Indonesia to help Indonesia procure and deliver safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19.
The Responsive Covid-19 Vaccines for Recovery (RECOVER) project will fund the purchase of at least 65 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines through Bio Farma, a state-owned vaccine supplier, for priority groups. The project is supported by ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), which was launched in December 2020 to offer vaccine-related support to ADB recipients.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Indonesians. The RECOVER project will help the government protect lives and restore livelihoods,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “It will help immunize millions of socially and economically vulnerable people at high risk of transmission, as well as public service officers providing critical services. ADB will also help the government and Bio Farma improve logistics management and deliver vaccines more effectively.”
The Indonesian government aims to vaccinate 181.5 million people against Covid-19 in one of the world’s most ambitious vaccination campaigns. Indonesia recorded more than 1.5 million cases and 40,000 deaths as of March 30. The vaccination campaign is still in its early stages.
The Jakarta government will pilot in-class learning on a limited scale from April 7-29. The pilot project will involve 100 schools that have passed assessments from the Jakarta government. In-class learning will only be done once per week, prioritizing essential subjects with a teaching duration of three to four hours. Attendance is limited to 50 percent of student capacity for each classroom. A 1.5 m distance between each student will be maintained. Extracurricular activities are prohibited during the pilot period. The government has also provided training on blended learning for teachers involved in the pilot.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu) has released a survey on the Covid-19 vaccination program for officials in foreign missions and international organizations, as well as their family members. Officials eligible for this survey are those working in embassies, regional organizations, representative offices of United Nations agencies, and select international organizations.
The Ministry of Transportation has authorized the use of GeNose testing devices in airports in line with Covid-19 Task Force Circular Letter 12/ 2021, which permits the use of GeNose as an alternative to PCR and rapid antigen tests. GeNose, which was developed in Indonesia, will be used starting today, April 1, beginning with four airports:
Juanda International Airport, Surabaya
Yogyakarta International Airport
Husein Sastranegara Airport, Bandung
Sultan Mahmud Baharuddin II Airport, Palembang.
GeNose screening involves three steps. First, downloading the Airport Health Center app, registering, booking, and completing payment. Next, enter the testing area for breath samples to be taken and analyzed. Then the test results will be visible in the application. Each GeNose test costs Rp 40,000.
AmCham began April by hosting a virtual discussion with Ujang Solihin Sidik (Uso), the Head of the Sub-Directorate of Goods and Packaging at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The purpose was to discuss Ministry of Environment and Forestry Regulation (PerMenLHK) 75/2019 on the Roadmap to Waste Reduction by Producers.
Uso said a shocking 72 percent of the Indonesian public are unaware of waste problems. With the growing amount of waste in Indonesia, he said the PerMenLHK 75/2019 platform introduces Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in managing the problem.
He also addressed company concerns over meeting the standards set in the regulation. He said companies have different capacities in complying with the requirements and the ministry provides flexibility for companies in meeting the 10-year goal of 30 percent waste reduction, including the ability to partner with the waste management sector. Companies should take actions that are feasible and the ministry is willing to help. He also invited companies to help change public behavior by using environmentally friendly packaging and selling products through refills or bulk sales.
AmCham Cares: Merck, Sharp & Dohme, Part 2
Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Indonesia has released additional details of its partnership with Mercy Corps Indonesia (MCI) to assist micro and small entrepreneurs to cope with Covid-19.
Nicknamed the Summer Act, the program has four key initiatives, the latest are:
Partnering with Bank Mandiri and Bank Syariah Indonesia to provide both sharia and conventional financing to accommodate the needs of participants. The program aims to facilitate financial inclusion and access to working capital for 525 MSEs by the end of March.
Distributed 2,027 hand-washing stations and facilitated access to hygiene supplies for 426 MSEs.
The Summer Act program will run for 12 months to help MSEs recover and be equipped with the digital and financial tools needed to cope with the pandemic.
Only Five Red-Zone Districts Left: Task Force
The Covid-19 Task Force claims that as of March 28, the number of red zones (areas with high virus transmission risk) had fallen to only five regencies or cities in three provinces: Buleleng, Tabanan, and Denpasar in Bali; Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan; and Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara. Orange zones (areas with medium transmission risks) have also fallen from 313 to 301. The number of yellow zones (areas with low transmission risks) has increased from 183 to 201. Six regencies are categorized as green zones for having zero Covid-19 cases: West Nias, North Nias, and South Nias in Northern Sumatra; and cities in Papua, Maluku, and Northern Maluku.
It is unclear what accounts for the decline since vaccination rates remain low in Indonesia.
The Task Force also recorded an additional 5,937 cases and 104 deaths in its daily record on March 31. Indonesia now has 1,511,712 cases in total, with 1,348,330 having recovered, 122,524 are currently being treated in hospitals and in self-isolation, and 40,858 have died.
Shipping Problems Delay Third Phase of Vaccination
Vaccination spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi said vaccine embargos have delayed arrivals of new shipments to Indonesia. As a consequence, the third phase of vaccination, which is intended for those with geospatial, social, or economic vulnerabilities, will be delayed from April to June or July at the earliest. Daily vaccination rates in April will also see declines due to a shortage of doses after 2.5 million doses from AstraZeneca failed to arrive in March. Nadia said the Ministry of Health is still negotiating with vaccine producers to resolve the delay in vaccine arrivals.
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AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor