Civil Society seeks humanitarian response in handling Rohingya crisis

The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations has praised the local people and Government of North Aceh for their initiative and lead in rescuing Rohingya refugees in distress at sea on Thursday (June 25). It is not the sole responsibility of the local government and community to extend assistance to the 99 Rohingya refugees in Punteut, Lhokseumawe, but others, especially those from the national government too should come forward in this endeavor. The involvement and coordination of other elements, in particular, the national government, are the pressing need of the hour.…

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C Kalimantan residents warned of importance of rapid test results

Tamiang Layang, C Kalimantan Central Kalimantan’s residents are banned from travelling if results of their rapid tests are reactive and should instead undergo swab tests for confirming the diagnosis of the COVID-19 disease, a local government official stated. Three residents of Unsum Village in Raren Batuah Sub-district, Barito Timur District, Central Kalimantan Province, failed to follow this binding condition, coordinator of the district’s COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Task Force, Simon Biring, stated. Consequently, the trio were stopped by the Syamsuddin Noor Airport authority in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, on Friday, after…

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On Jakarta anniversary, a ‘present’: pandemic showing signs of slowing

There has been no grand celebration to commemorate Jakarta’s 493rd anniversary this year as the Indonesian capital has been preoccupied with the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there has been cause for cheer thanks to news of Jakarta finally managing to bring the infection relatively under control. According to a UI report, the effective reproductive number (Rt) for the city has slid to 0.98 in June this year from 4 in March. “(I have just received) a report from the team of the Public Health Faculty of the…

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Balanced approach needed to battle twin health and economic crises

As its coronavirus case count crosses 50 thousand, Indonesia, which has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2, 2020, is facing twin crises: a public health emergency and an economic downturn.   As of June 26, 2020, Indonesia has recorded 51,427 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19. Of the total number of confirmed patients, 21,333 have been discharged from hospital, while 2,683 others have succumbed to the deadly virus.   Over the past few months, Jakarta has emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in…

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COVID-19 adding to challenge posed by forest fires

With Indonesia still in the grip of the coronavirus, which is known to cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), forest fires and the associated smog could potentially spell a double disaster, suffocating people and animals. Wildfires are normally known to occur every year on Sumatra and Kalimantan islands during the dry season. They often produce smog that can shroud neighboring countries, particularly Malaysia and Singapore. This year, the peak dry season is forecast for August and September. During a limited cabinet meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in Jakarta…

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