Bali orders people to stay at home on major holiday to contain COVID-19

first_imgRegents and mayors across Bali also issued similar policies on Thursday. Some of them even closed access to their regions. Ida Penglingsir Agung Putra Sukahet, who heads the Bali Grand Council of Customary Villages, endorsed the policy to “extend” the Day of Silence, saying it was needed to stop the spread of the virus. “We hope people will follow it. It’s for our safety,” he said, adding that family gatherings could now take place on Whatsapp. While some residents supported the policy, others found it excessive. Kadek Dewi, an employee at a private hospital in Denpasar, had to argue with the pecalang before she could go to work after being told to provide a letter showing that she was, in fact, a hospital employee. “I work at a hospital. Patients need food,” she said.The Russian Embassy in Jakarta sent a letter to the Bali governor on Thursday asking him to exempt a number of Russian tourists scheduled for a flight to Moscow that day. “Many of our [citizens] cannot go to the airport to board the flight,” Russian Ambassador Liudmila Vorobieva said in the letter. Some tourists were still seen enjoying their holiday on the beaches in front of the hotels where they were staying. Despite the enforced physical distancing policy, Gilimanuk seaport and Gusti Ngurah Rai airport were still operating.  “Bali airport is operating normally today, with 171 scheduled flights,” the airport’s spokesperson, Arie Ahsanurrohim, said.Bali declared an “alert” security status on March 15 in response to the outbreak, asking schools to hold classes online and civil servants to work from home. On March 17, the Indonesian Hindu Religious Council ordered a limitation on religious festivals such as ogoh-ogoh (spirit effigy) processions. These policies were followed by the administration’s decision to close major tourist destinations across the island.Topics : The island was uncharacteristically quiet during this year’s Ngembak Geni. Tourist sites, malls, shops, traditional markets and banks were all closed. Only ambulances and emergency vehicles were seen on the streets. Pecalang periodically stopped people from entering or exiting villages. “We are urging all people not to leave their houses to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Nengah Dira, a pecalang from Sumerta village, said. The Balinese administration had previously advised people to practice physical distancing, but on Thursday it chose to make the policy mandatory. The strict policy, issued on March 23, however, will apply only on Ngembak Geni, after which residents are merely advised to practice physical distancing.  “The fast spread of COVID-19 should be responded to with caution and should be anticipated to prevent more victims. The most effective prevention strategy is to limit outdoor activities and social interaction,” Bali Governor Wayan Koster said. To contain the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Bali administration ordered people to stay at home on Thursday for the normally bustling festival of Ngembak Geni, the day after Nyepi (Hindu Day of Silence), during which Balinese people traditionally throng the island’s beaches and public places in celebration. The resort island has reported at least nine confirmed COVID-19 cases with two deaths, a relatively small number compared to Jakarta, which has more than 500 cases and 40 deaths. Scientists, however, believe the province may have underreported its cases and that thousands of infected people may have gone undetected. In a first, the police and the pecalang (traditional Balinese security officers) were deployed to enforce the order on Thursday. last_img read more

PREMIUMCoal plant project delays might cost developers $13.1 billion: Report

first_imgIndonesia energy coal-power-plants delay COVID-19 Global-Energy-Monitor-GEM Energy-Mineral-Resources-Ministry China Topics : Google LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here The delayed completion of 11 coal-fired power plants due to the coronavirus pandemic might cost developers billions of dollars in capital outlays, according to a nonprofit energy institution.San Francisco-based Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said in a report issued on Thursday that COVID-19 lockdowns had discontinued supply chains and skilled labor inflows into the 11 projects, which have a combined investment value of around US$13.1 billion. The situation is particularly acute because China and South Korea, both of which are coronavirus hotspots, are major backers of Indonesian coal plants.GEM calculated the costs based on the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) estimate that $1,600 is needed to develop every kilowatt (kW) of power plant in Southeast Asia.“For banks and investors guaranteeing new coal plants, this situation potentially means weaker profitability and… Forgot Password ? Linkedin Log in with your social account Facebooklast_img read more

At least seven killed in Medan oil tanker fire

first_imgBhayangkara Police Hospital deputy head, Adj. Sr. Comr. Zulhairi, said the hospital had identified another body, without providing any further details.The hospital set up an emergency post to gather data on the victims from their relatives to help them identify the remaining bodies.“Those who fear that they might have lost a family member in the fire can submit their fingerprints, ID cards or diplomas [to the emergency post],” said Zulhairi.Previously, authorities confirmed 22 crew members were injured while several others were trapped in the oil tanker. The injured victims were immediately rushed to nearby hospitals.Witnesses said an explosion occurred on Monday morning when the ship was about to dock at the Waruna Shipyard in the port. A column of thick smoke began rising from the oil tanker at 8:30 a.m.Local authorities struggled to put out the resulting flames until 3 p.m. as the remaining oil stored in the ship’s hold had caught fire.The police are still investigating the cause of the blaze. (rfa)Topics : The authorities have confirmed that at least seven crew members were killed in a fire on board the crude oil tanker Jag Leela at Belawan Port in Medan, North Sumatra, on Monday morning.A search and rescue team recovered on Tuesday the bodies of seven crew members in several different parts of the ship, including on the deck.Indra, a member of the SAR team deployed to the scene, said the team had only managed to identify one of the recovered bodies. “Of the seven bodies we’ve found, only one has been immediately identified as Soewondo. The rest have been severely burned,” Indra told The Jakarta Post, adding that the victims were presumably trapped inside the ship during the fire.The SAR team has also been spraying water onto the ship to ensure the safety of the evacuation operation.North Sumatra Police spokesperson, Adj. Sr. Comr. MP Nainggolan, said the bodies of the seven victims had been transferred to the Bhayangkara Police Hospital in the city for identification. “The number of casualties may still increase as the search operation is still under way.”Read also: Crude oil tanker bursts into flames in Medan, injuring 22last_img read more

China sentences Australian to death in fresh blow to relations

first_img China’s foreign ministry said on Sunday capital punishment was suitable for drug crimes that cause serious harm.”China law stipulates that the law must be equally applied to everyone who commits a crime. China judicial institutions handle the cases of criminals of all nationalities according to the law,” said the ministry in a faxed reply to Reuters.Attempts to reach Gillespie’s family were unsuccessful.”We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case,” the Australian foreign affairs department said in an emailed statement to Reuters. An Australian man has been sentenced to death in China, authorities said on Saturday, a development that could further escalate tensions between the two countries.Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the man, without identifying him.Australian and Chinese media have identified the man as Cam Gillespie, arrested seven years ago on charges of drug trafficking in southern China. Topics :center_img “Australia opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances for all people. We support the universal abolition of the death penalty and are committed to pursuing this goal through all the avenues available to us.”Cam Gillespie was arrested in 2013 with more than 7.5 kg (17 pounds) of methamphetamine in his check-in luggage while attempting to board an international flight from Baiyun Airport in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, according to several media reports.Diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Canberra have worsened since Australia called for an international inquiry into the source and spread of the new coronavirus, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.China has in recent weeks banned Australian beef imports and imposed tariffs on Australian barley. It has also urged Chinese tourists to avoid Australia.The death sentence for drug smuggling is not uncommon in China, where executions are usually carried out by firing squad.Last year, the country sentenced two Canadians to death for drug-related crimes following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and said it was “not worried in the slightest” by mounting international concern over the verdict. last_img read more

Disease puts 1 in 5 globally at severe COVID-19 risk: Study

first_imgThey found that one in five people have at least one underlying health problem putting them in greater danger.While not all of those would go on to develop severe symptoms if infected, the researchers said around 4 percent of the global population — around 350 million) would likely get sick enough to require hospital treatment. “As countries move out of lockdown, governments are looking for ways to protect the most vulnerable from a virus that is still circulating,” said Andrew Clark, who contributed to the study.”This might involve advising people with underlying conditions to adopt social distancing measures appropriate to their level of risk.” Clark said the findings could help governments make decisions on who receives a COVID-19 vaccine first when one becomes available. Consistent with other studies about COVID risk, the authors found that older people are in greater danger of getting seriously unwell from the virus. Less than 5 percent of people aged under 20 have an underlying risk factor, compared with two thirds of over 70s. Countries with younger populations have fewer people with at least one underlying condition, but risks vary globally, according to the analysis. Small island states such as Fiji and Mauritius have among the highest rates of diabetes — a known COVID-19 risk factor — on Earth, for example. And countries with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS, such as eSwatini and Lesotho, also need to be vigilant, said authors of the research published in The Lancet. In Europe, more than 30 percent of people have one or more health conditions, it showed. Writing in a linked comment, Nina Schwalbe from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said the study showed “it is time to evolve from a one-size-fits-all approach to one that centers on those most at risk.” An estimated 1.7 billion people — more than 20 percent of the world’s population — risk becoming severely infected with COVID-19 due to underlying health problems such as obesity and heart disease, analysis showed Tuesday. The novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 420,000 people globally during the first wave of the pandemic, adversely effects patients suffering from co-morbidities. A team of experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analyzed global data sets of illnesses including diabetes, lung disease and HIV used these to estimate how many people are at heightened risk of serious COVID-19 infection. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Supreme Court rejects KPK’s appeal against not-guilty verdict for former PLN chief

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down an appeal filed by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) against a not-guilty verdict given to the former president director of state-run electricity company PLN, Sofyan Basir. Last year, the Jakarta Corruption Court cleared Sofyan of all charges in connection with bribery related to a coal-fired power plant (PLTU) project in Riau.“The appeal was turned down because according to the judicial panel, the judex facti, or decision made by the Jakarta Corruption Court, was correct in front of the law,” Supreme Court spokesperson Andi Samsan Nganro said on Wednesday as reported by kompas.com.According to Andi, the not-guilty verdict was the correct decision given that there was no evidence proving the involvement of Sofyan in the bribery case as stated on the indictment. Based on such findings, five panel-judges at the Supreme Court namely Sofyan Sitompul, Krisna Harahap, Abdul Latief, Leopold Luhut Hutagalung and Suhadi decided to turn down the appeal on Tuesday.”What was appealed by the [KPK] prosecutors has been proved based on facts and judged based on evidence,” he said, indicating that Sofyan was innocent.Read also: Supreme acquittalAt the time of writing, the KPK has not yet responded to The Jakarta Post’s requests for comments on the matter. A panel of five judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Nov. 4, 2019 cleared Sofyan of all charges in connection with a bribery case that took place within the Riau-1 power plant project — a coal-fired power plant (PLTU) project in Riau province. The KPK indicted him of organizing several meetings to accelerate the deliberation of the power plant project, which eventually led to a bribery scheme involving a businessman named Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo and Golkar Party politicians Idrus Marham and Eni Maulani Saragih.Despite not having received any bribes himself, the KPK accused Sofyan of having knowledge about the illicit payments, thus demanded a five-year prison sentence and a Rp 200 million (US$ 14,144) fine for Sofyan.As the court argued that Sofyan had not broken any laws by accelerating the project’s deliberation, then-KPK spokesperson Febri Diansyah pointed out how “the judges did not consider the defendant’s role in accelerating the project by breaking some rules.” (trn)Topics :last_img read more

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopen as England’s lockdown eases

first_imgJohnson said his message was to “enjoy summer safely” and not undo the progress made in knocking back the pandemic.He said workers in pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses had made an heroic effort to prepare for reopening.”The success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly,” he said. “We must not let them down.”Police said they were “absolutely prepared” for the pubs reopening. But customers might find the atmosphere inside rather different from the usual Saturday-night scrum.Numbers will be limited, no one will be allowed to stand at the bar and there will be no live music. Patrons will also have to give their details to allow tracers to identify them if anyone later tests positive.JD Wetherspoon, one of the biggest chains, said it had invested 11 million pounds ($14 million) in safety measures.Most of its pubs in England will open at the usual time of 8 a.m. on Saturday. It is not taking bookings, but said at busy times numbers would be controlled by staff.Topics : England takes its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life on Saturday as people are finally allowed to drink in a pub, get a haircut or have a meal in a restaurant for the first time in over three months.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said everybody had to behave responsibly and maintain social distancing to support businesses and not risk a second wave of the coronavirus.Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight while pubs will be allowed to start serving from 0500 GMT on so-called “Super Saturday”, sparking worries of pent-up over-indulgence.last_img read more

100 days ahead of vote, faltering Trump banks on ‘silent majority’

first_imgPresident Donald Trump mounted a strident defense Sunday of his wavering reelection bid with 100 days to go in a campaign that has seen him underwater in the polls — and banking on the “silent majority” he vowed will bring him victory. The 74-year-old Republican has struggled on numerous fronts, facing mounting criticism over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic pain, and failing to land punches on his opponent, Joe Biden.In the latest blow to his hopes of returning to the White House after November 3, polls released Sunday showed his support cratering in three critical battleground states.  With the coronavirus killing more than 1,000 Americans a day, the president — who is at his best soaking up the adulation of supporters at live events — has been forced to cancel his rallies and ditch the Republican convention in Florida next month. ShortcomingsThe pandemic, which has infected 4.2 million Americans and killed almost 150,000, is ravaging the US economy and — with the outbreak largely under control in Europe and Asia — has highlighted the shortcomings of the US response.The president has also lost support over his handling of historic uprisings against racism and police brutality, angering local communities with incendiary rhetoric and a pledge to “surge” federal agents into numerous major US cities.That all is not well in Team Trump’s misfiring reelection bid was perhaps most evident in the president’s recent demotion of bravado campaign manager Brad Parscale.With overall approval ratings permanently stuck in the low 40 percent range, he is the first president to seek reelection after impeachment.Trump is offering a vision of chaos under his opponent, in which Biden’s desire to “abolish the American Way of Life” would turn US cities into crime-infested wastelands.But he has largely failed to expand his fervently loyal base with a pitch that boils down to claiming Biden will have Americans “cowering to radical left-wing mobs.”On Sunday, Trump also tweeted his oft-repeated complaint that mail-in voting will corrupt the election “& everyone knows it,” despite there being no evidence of fraud during such voting in previous elections, nor that it would be a factor in November.New polling of registered voters from three swing states released Sunday showed Trump trailing badly.In Florida, the president garnered 46 percent support against 51 percent for Biden — while in Arizona, the challenger was four points ahead, with 49 percent. “The Trump Campaign has more ENTHUSIASM, according to many, than any campaign in the history of our great Country — Even more than 2016,” Trump thundered on Twitter.”Biden has NONE! The Silent Majority will speak on NOVEMBER THIRD!!! Fake Suppression Polls & Fake News will not save the Radical Left.”Trump’s 77-year-old Democratic rival Biden, who says he is fighting for “the soul of America,” implored voters to make Trump a one-term president.”In 100 days, we have the chance to set our nation on a new path. One where we finally live up to our highest ideals and everyone has a fair shot at success,” he tweeted.center_img ‘Divisiveness and dysfunction’ In Michigan, Biden’s lead stands at 52 percent to 40 percent — a larger lead than the RealClearPolitics average of recent national polls, which puts the former vice president ahead by 8.7 points.Trump carried all three states in 2016, although he won Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes. Meanwhile, Biden is running an unprecedented campaign from his Delaware home, with no rallies, few news conferences and the space to sit back and watch Trump lurch ever deeper into trouble.But the president is keen to remind those who discount him that, despite grim polling in 2016, he comfortably beat all comers for the nomination before defeating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.Maryland’s Republican governor Larry Hogan, who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 and is seen as a potential candidate in 2024, told CNN on Sunday he was unlikely to endorse the president this time around.”The election is 100 days away. I think early voting starts in 60 days or less. We’re getting very close for the American people to make that decision,” he said.”I think, quite frankly, a lot of people like me are frustrated with the divisiveness and dysfunction on both sides and don’t feel like we have two great choices.” Topics :last_img read more

Astra International’s profit plunges 44% in H1 as pandemic batters auto business

first_imgThe automotive industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic as customers stay at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19. National car sales fell 46 percent annually in the first half to just 260,933 units, according to Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) data compiled by Astra.Car wholesales nosedived in April and hit rock bottom in May with a more than 95 percent annual drop before rebounding in June, the data shows.  “Surely, the outlook for the automotive industry is quite challenging as consumer confidence is still quite weak and auto financing has yet to recover,” BNI Sekuritas head of equity research Kim Kwie Sjamsudin told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.He noted that those two sectors accounted for a big chunk of the company’s business. Read also: Gold price surge blessing in disguise for IndonesiaThe company’s financial services segment saw its net profit decrease by 25 percent yoy to Rp 2.1 trillion as a result of the increase in provisions set aside to cover the losses from a growing number of bad loans in consumer and heavy equipment financing, the company reported. In May this year, Astra International sold its entire shares in Bank Permata, worth around Rp 16.83 trillion, to Bangkok Bank. From the sales, Astra made Rp 5.88 trillion in net profit, higher than the profit it booked from its business operations alone. Astra also reported that its heavy machinery, mining, construction and energy segment had generated Rp 2.37 trillion in net profit, making it the biggest contributor to the company’s total net profit, despite seeing a 29 percent annual decline in revenue due to lower sales and contract volume, driven by weaker coal prices. The agribusiness segment also experienced a rise in net profit, increasing a staggering 791 percent from Rp 35 billion to Rp 312 billion in the first half as a result of rising crude palm oil (CPO) prices, especially during the year’s first quarter. Average CPO prices increased by 26 percent yoy to Rp 8,109 per kilogram in the first half, the company said. “Most probably, Astra International will pin its hopes on the agribusiness segment and its gold mines going forward,” Jasa Utama Capital analyst Chris Apriliony said on Wednesday. The rise in the two business lines, he added, would be driven by higher CPO and global gold prices, which could cushion the adverse impact faced by its other cooling businesses. Read also: Automakers rev up discounts to beat coronavirus sales bluesKim of BNI Sekuritas, on the other hand, noted that the commodity sector was highly-dependent on global economic activities and with the easing of global lockdown, things would start to move northward.“We expect the second quarter of 2020 to be the bottom, earnings-wise,” he said. Astra’s shares, traded at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with the code ASII, jumped by almost 1 percent as of 12:58 p.m. Jakarta time on Thursday while the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), gained 0.25 percent.Its stocks have lost almost 26 percent of its value so far this year versus an 18.66 percent loss recorded by the JCI. Astra Group, which has over 230 subsidiaries working under seven business segments, namely automotive, financial services, agribusiness, property, infrastructure and logistics, information technology and heavy equipment, mining, construction and energy, has reported a decrease in almost all of the business sectors it operates in. However, its automotive business was the hardest hit.  Read also: Light at end of tunnel for auto industry as June car sales rebound: ExpertsNet profit in the company’s automotive segment crashed 79 percent yoy to Rp 716 billion because of a fall in sales volume in the second quarter of the year. The business segment went from being the biggest contributor to net profit in June last year to its third-largest contributor.Astra’s car sales fell by 45 percent during the first half of the year to 139,500 units. In the second quarter alone, sales fell 92 percent against the previous quarter. Honda Astra’s motorcycle sales, meanwhile, fell 40 percent to 1.5 million units in the first half and 80 percent quarter-on-quarter (qoq). Topics :center_img Diversified conglomerate PT Astra International has reported a drop in revenue and net profit in the first half of the year, largely because of the pandemic’s major impacts on the automotive industry and commodity prices.The company’s revenue has fallen by 23 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 89.8 trillion (US$6.19 billion) as of June 30. Its net profit, excluding revenue from the sale of Bank Permata shares, nosedived 44 percent yoy to Rp 5.5 trillion. “Countermeasures against the pandemic implemented in most regions in Indonesia, including the temporary closedown of manufacturing activities and automotive distribution, have impacted the group’s operations substantially,” Astra president director Djony Bunarto Tjondro said in a press statement on Wednesday. last_img read more

Up in smoke: Ministry to revoke marijuana’s designation as ‘medicinal plant’

first_imgThe ministry responded that it would revise the decree because of Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s commitment to “eradicate drug abuse”.“The decree will be revised soon, after we coordinate with the National Narcotics Agency [BNN], the Health Ministry and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences [LIPI],” the ministry’s vegetable and medicinal plant director, Tommy Nugraha, said in a statement on Saturday.He added that marijuana had been listed as a medicinal plant since 2006 because the ministry wanted to help marijuana farmers shift to growing other crops.“Marijuana’s inclusion on the medicinal plant list means that it can only be used for research, as stipulated in Article 67 of Law No. 13/2020 on horticulture. Currently, we record no legal marijuana farmers in Indonesia,” Tommy added. Read also: 420 blaze it? Here’s what you need to know about Indonesia’s marijuana lawMarijuana is illegal in Indonesia. The 2009 Narcotics Law includes the plant as a type-1 narcotic, alongside opium and cocaine, meaning it is forbidden for both recreational and medicinal use.The country’s stringent anti-cannabis enforcement has resulted in the arrests of several people, including Reyndhart Siahaan in East Nusa Tenggara. He was arrested for allegedly using marijuana, which he said relieved the pain caused by a spinal cord disease. The court later declared him guilty and sentenced him to 10 months’ imprisonment. Numerous studies have indicated the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the plant’s active ingredients, as a medication. Peter Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School wrote that CBD could be used to treat pain, epilepsy, seizures, anxiety and insomnia.The LGN has been pushing for a revision of the Narcotics Law and the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use since 2010.Topics : The Agriculture Ministry will revise a 2020 ministerial decree that lists marijuana as a “medicinal plant” under the ministry’s supervision.Signed on Feb. 3, the decree includes marijuana (Cannabis sativa) as one of 66 medicinal plants whose production is under the supervision of the ministry’s horticulture directorate general.The decree went viral on Friday after the Nusantara Marijuana Network (LGN) posted a photo of the document on its Instagram account, @lgn_id.last_img read more