Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

Normalcy, Here We Come: Gov’t Says Omicron is Now Under Control

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

APRIL 04, 2022

Jakarta. Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan recently said that Indonesia had brought the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant transmission under control. 

“In less than three months, the daily cases nationwide have dropped by 97 percent since the Omicron peak. Active cases have declined by 83 percent since the last peak and we now have less than 100,000 active cases,” Luhut told a press briefing on Monday while adding that the bed occupancy rate stood at 6 percent.

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Indonesia’s positivity rate is now at 4 percent, which is lower than the 5 percent threshold set by the WHO (World Health Organization). Covid-related deaths have fallen by 88 percent since the Omicron wave's peak, according to Luhut.

“Judging by all this data, we conclude that the Omicron variant situation in Indonesia is now under control,” the minister said.

The economy is showing signs of recovery. A study by Mandiri Institute suggests that the spending index across the archipelago is increasing. Bali and Nusa Tenggara’s spending indexes have also risen to their highest level since the start of the pandemic. 

People are also getting more comfortable leaving their homes as the pandemic subsides.

According to Luhut, people’s mobility is now at its highest level since the pandemic dawned in the country. Industrial activities have enjoyed positive growth for seven consecutive months, thus leading to labor absorption in the manufacturing sector.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic gets increasingly under control, the government will continue to make the transitions to bring the people’s lives and economic activities back to normal,” Luhut said while adding that Indonesia ranked 68th out of 100 countries on The Economist's Global Normalcy Index. 

"[The Covid-19 tracing app] PeduliLindungi and vaccination are still our main tools to control the increase in Covid-19 cases amid the ongoing economic and mobility recovery," Luhut said.

People’s mobility within the country may be on the rise, but for international flights, not so much.  

“We still need to work on international flight capacity, which is still far from normal,” Luhut told the conference.

To this end, the government plans to reopen several international airports, namely in Yogyakarta, Medan, Makassar, and Pekanbaru. Indonesia will also relax its visa conditions, bringing it closer to the pre-pandemic visa policies, to spur international flights into the country.

“We will also relax international travelers' entry tests, so we can boost the flights entering [the country], without causing a build-up in the airports,” Luhut said.

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