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Indonesia stock index plunges to three-year low amid virus fears

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgThe Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) nosedived to a level unseen since March 2017 on Thursday afternoon amid fears over the spread of COVID-19, extending losses recorded by Asian stocks.The main gauge of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) plunged 2.63 percent to 5,539.38 before lunch break. The figure was the lowest since March 10, 2017 when the index stood at 5,390, Bloomberg data showed.“Market players now are still responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which is spreading faster,” Pilarmas Investindo Sekuritas researchers wrote in a note. Topics : IDX trading director Laksono Widodo told The Jakarta Post that the bourse would continue trading after lunch break despite the sharp drop.“We’ll monitor the situation closely,” he said over text message. “We’ve prepared a crisis protocol if it falls 5 percent.”The steep decline was in line with Asian markets.Japan’s Nikkei dropped more than 2 percent, South Korea’s Kospi fell almost 1 percent, the Hong Kong Stock Index slipped 0.84 percent while Shanghai’s index managed to gained 0.41 percent as of Thursday afternoon.“The rising infection cases beyond Chinese shores has certainly raised the pandemic risk,” said Desh Peramunetilleke, head of microstrategy at Jefferies in Hong Kong, as quoted by Reuters. “The current earnings estimates do not yet factor in such risk and are therefore vulnerable to further downgrades.”More than 82,000 people have contracted COVID-19 around the globe as of Thursday afternoon with 2,801 deaths, mostly in China, the world’s second-largest economy.last_img read more


Two bombs explode outside Thai government office in Yala, wounding 18

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_img“The first bomb was a grenade throne to the area outside the SBPAC office fence to draw people out,” Colonel Pramote Prom-in, a military regional security spokesman told Reuters.”Then a car bomb about 10 meters from the first explosion went off. This was hidden in a pick-up truck where the perpetrators parked near the fence. Eighteen are wounded and no one died,” he said.The car bomb exploded ten minutes after the first explosion and among the wounded were five reporters, five police officers, two soldiers and other bystanders, Pramote said.There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Such claims are rare following attacks in the region.The population of the provinces, which belonged to an independent Malay Muslim sultanate before Thailand annexed them in 1909, is 80 percent Muslim, while the rest of the country is overwhelmingly Buddhist. Conflict has flared on and off for decades as insurgent groups fought a guerrilla war to demand independence for the area.A peace dialogue between the Thai government and the main insurgent group, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) has resumed this year, after the group pull out of the process in 2014.  Two bombs exploded in front of a government office in Thailand’s insurgency-hit southern Yala province on Tuesday, wounding 18 people, a security official said.The explosions took place in front of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC), a Thai government body that oversees the administration of three mostly Malay-Muslim majority provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala where an insurgency since 2004 has killed some 7,000 people.SBPAC was hosting a government meeting on the region’s response to the outbreak of the coronavirus prior to the explosions. Topics :last_img read more


Trump rules bar foreign nurses willing to help US

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_img“If nurses are infected and become sick, all of us are at greater risk,” National Nurses United, a union with 150,000 members, said in a March 24 statement. “If we are sick, who will take care of patients in the face of this terrifying pandemic?”Staff OverwhelmedSome of the hardest hit states are rushing to find reinforcements as their hospital staffs rapidly become overwhelmed. California Governor Gavin Newsom is considering a rule change to speed up licensing of nursing students and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is appealing for retired nurses to return to the workforce.One staffing company has received a request for 5,000 nurses in New York, according to Shari Dingle Costantini, president of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment. Members of her association have as many as 12,000 nurses from the Philippines and other countries who could fill those jobs, if only they could enter the US, she said.Workers set up a field hospital in front of Mount Sinai West Hospital inside Central Park on March 29, 2020 in New York City. – A senior US scientist issued a cautious prediction March 29, 2020 that the novel coronavirus could claim 100,000 to 200,000 lives in the United States. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told CNN that models predicting a million or more deaths were (AFP/Kena Betancur)“We have the nurses with all the credentials and ready to come into the country but they can’t because there are no visas,” she said.Even before the coronavirus outbreak, many hospitals across the US didn’t have enough nurses to care for patients.America’s not-for-profit hospitals were “experiencing an extreme nursing shortage,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a 2018 report, “and the added expense pressure and personnel issues will negatively affect hospital margins for at least the next three to four years.”Southern and western states, including Florida, Georgia, Texas and California, had the most severe problems. Several of those states — including California — have worsening shortages amid the virus.Applications DeniedThe US had about 3 million registered nurses in 2018 and the total will grow by more than 12 percent by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which cited an older population and the increasing rates of chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity as factors contributing to rising demand.The Philippines could significantly ease the shortage, said Leo-Felix M. Jurado, chair of the Nursing Department at William Paterson University in New Jersey and a board member of the Philippine Nurses Association of America. There are about 150,000 nurses from the Philippines working in the US, he said, up from approximately 120,000 in 2013.In 2019, about 5,100 people from the Philippines received the EB-3 visas commonly used for nurses, down by a third from 2015.“It’s absolutely been harder in the Trump administration to get people in,” said Costantini, who is also CEO of Avant Healthcare Professionals, a recruiting company in Florida. US Citizenship and Immigration Services “has been delaying and denying visa applications that were once easily approved.”A USCIS spokesman said visa wait times vary and that employers have the option to request an expedited application yet that overall processing times are lower compared to 2016.The State Department appears to be opening the door a little. In a statement dated March 26, it encouraged medical professionals with approved visa petitions or certificates of eligibility in exchange visitor programs, “particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of Covid-19,” to seek a visa appointment at their nearest US embassy.One surgical nurse in Manila has waited for two years. The 32-year-old, who asked not to be identified because of concern about her visa status, earns about 30,000 pesos ($590) a month in the Philippines, not enough to support her family. She has had an offer to work at a US hospital since 2018. Since submitting her paperwork, she has received multiple requests for more documentation.As a nurse in a major public hospital, she spends her days caring for Covid-19 patients, sometimes with limited protective equipment. She fears the pandemic will tighten health screening requirements and make the visa process even more complicated.The US isn’t the only country where government policies are making it tough to fill nursing gaps. In the UK, the Brexit vote in 2016 contributed to the loss of thousands of nurses from European Union countries.“The number of EU nurses coming into the UK suddenly went off a cliff,” said Michael Hodges, a managing director and health care specialist at London-based Christie.Worldwide IssueNow the pandemic is hurting British recruiters’ ability to tap countries such as the Philippines. Monica Felix, 32, who arrived in the UK on March 24, received her visa a day before the Philippine government announced a lockdown of Manila. Her trip to Britain included a layover in Dubai, two days before the United Arab Emirates halted flights through the city. Her colleagues at home are worried their moves abroad will be delayed, she said.“We’re all anxious about what’s happening around us,” Felix said. “All of us know the possible consequences if we get this kind of dreaded disease.”The Covid-19 crisis is also highlighting a nurses shortage in Australia, estimated to reach 85,000 by 2025 and 123,000 nurses by 2030.Amid the pandemic, the Australian health regulator is easing licensing rules to get more health workers into the system quickly, including internationally qualified practitioners awaiting bridging visas. Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said the government will relax work restrictions for 20,000 international nursing students.Shortage at HomeBack in the Philippines, the government wants to keep nurses in the country to help stem the virus outbreak there. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello has issued an order to strictly regulate the overseas deployment of Filipino health care workers until the pandemic is declared to be under control.The Philippines lacks about 23,000 nurses, according to Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc., which has about 900 members. While local hospitals can’t compete with salaries abroad, they will seek to compensate with such perks as free lodging and training programs, he said.Still, nurses in the countryside make as little as 6,000 pesos a month, according to Leah Paquiz, founder of nursing advocacy group Ang Nars Inc., and many nurses at top hospitals make only 26,000 pesos.“Despite our problems here, I don’t ever tell nurses not to leave,” she said. “How can we force them stay when we cannot afford to give them better living conditions?”Topics : “They could come tomorrow,” Beckham said. “The demand is overwhelming right now.”Since President Donald Trump took office on a promise to crack down on immigration, nurses from the Philippines have faced more red tape. Officials return about 50 percent of Vintage’s applications and demand additional paperwork, up from just 5 percent of applications during the Obama administration, Beckham said.CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins attempts to ask a question as U.S. President Donald Trump leads the daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 26, 2020. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)The issue is becoming more urgent by the day because of the spread of Covid-19 cases throughout the US. At more than 104,000 infections, the country now has a higher tally than China and Italy. As the coronavirus pandemic threatens to strain nursing staffs at hospitals across the US, Melanie N. Beckham knows where to find reinforcements. But first, the Trump administration needs to give its approval.Beckham, president of Vintage Health Resources in Germantown, Tennessee, specializes in helping hospitals throughout the southeastern US hire nurses from the Philippines, a country with a large population of English speakers and a long history of sending health-care workers abroad.Of the several hundred Philippine recruits now in Vintage’s application process, more than 100 nurses have passed the licensing and language exams. They’ve completed background checks and are ready to head to the US Yet they are stuck because they can’t get their visas processed.last_img read more


Government to reduce ‘mudik’ travel by disbursing social aid

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgThe government will disburse social aid to low-income families in order to dissuade people from participating in the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus), presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman has said.“This aid is a form of government intervention. In Greater Jakarta, we will assist 3.7 million lower-income families to help them in their daily lives as they are required to stay at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fadjroel said in a statement received by The Jakarta Post on Friday. Read also: MUI: ‘Mudik’ from virus-affected areas ‘haram’Fadjroel added that the government had included a Rp 405.1 trillion (US$ 24.5 billion) stimulus in the state budget to fight against the pandemic. Some Rp 110 trillion from the budget will be allocated to aid lower-income families with their daily necessities.Number of travelers during Idul Fitri exodus in Indonesia (JP/Hengky Wijaya)Previously, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that he would not ban people from leaving Jakarta and asked community heads in the regions to quarantine vacationers as soon as they arrived in their respective hometowns.“[The President] underlines that there is no official ban on people participating in the mudik during the 2020 Idul Fitri holiday. The returnees, however, must self-isolate for 14 days and will be given ‘people under observation’ [ODP] status, as per World Health Organization health protocols, and will be monitored by their respective local administrations,” Fadjroel said on Thursday.Topics :last_img read more


Two companies list shares on IDX despite pandemic-hit market

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgKarya Bersama pocketed Rp 613 million in net income as of September 2019 as it booked Rp 15.98 billion in revenue during the period.In the meantime, Sejahtera Bintang Abadi managed to raise a total of Rp 44.63 billion in fresh funds from the sale of 425 million shares during its IPO, the company said in a statement.The company plans to use about 78.55 percent of the IPO proceeds to buy new open-end machines, a finisher draw frame and other plant to produce its recycled-base material yarns. The company will also use the remaining 21.45 percent of the proceeds as capex to buy raw materials and fund marketing costs, among other things.As of September 2019, the company recorded a total of Rp 227.71 billion in revenue. However, it still recorded a loss of Rp 3.84 billion during the period.Although the market is currently in its least favorable condition, IDX assessment director I Gede Nyoman Yetna said companies were still interested in seeking fresh funds from the stock market.“These companies chose to offer their shares to the public as they need more funds to help develop their businesses,” he told the press by text message.The IDX main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), dropped 3.18 percent on Wednesday, having lost more than 26 percent of its value so far this year.Topics : Two companies went forward with their plans to list their shares on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Wednesday despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has rocked global and domestic stock markets.Property developer PT Karya Bersama Anugerah and yarn producer PT Sejahtera Bintang Abadi Textile became the 20th and 21st companies listed on the domestic bourse this year and the second and third companies to list their shares virtually amid the government’s large-scale social restrictions to prevent further spread of the highly contagious disease.Karya Bersama Anugerah, listed under the code KBAG, recorded a 35 percent jump in share price upon opening to Rp 135 (8 US cents) apiece from Rp 100 while Sejahtera Bintang Abadi (SBAT) soared 34.29 percent to Rp 141 just 30 minutes after its shares were available for trading. In a written statement obtained by The Jakarta Post, Karya Bersama plans to use the proceeds from its initial public offering (IPO) of around Rp 215 billion to add to its land bank in the Balikpapan area in East Kalimantan. Outside of Balikpapan, the company currently owns a total of 0.7 hectares of land in West Jakarta and another 150 hectares of land in Jonggol, West Java.“We will also use the proceeds to fund our capital expenditure [capex] and finish several of our ongoing projects,” the company said in the statement, adding that one of the projects included a townhouse complex in central Balikpapan.The company has expressed optimism that the project will have a positive impact on its financial performance as it expects the government’s upcoming new capital city project located near Balikpapan to increase real estate values in the area.Read also: To buy it or not: Retail investors are torn amid volatile stock marketlast_img read more


Ecuador builds emergency cemeteries due to coronavirus outbreak

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgEcuador’s government is preparing an emergency burial ground on land donated by a private cemetery in Guayaquil, the country’s largest city, to address a shortage of burial plots as the novel coronavirus hits the Andean country hard.As of Tuesday, the country had 3,995 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 220 deaths, with 182 more deaths suspected of being linked to the virus. The outbreak has sparked a shortage of wooden coffins, prompting some people to bury their relatives in cardboard boxes donated by cemeteries.Large lines of cars carrying coffins waited outside private cemeteries across the city this week, as families waited for hours for a chance to bury their deceased relatives. The outbreak has overwhelmed hospitals and emergency services, with some families keeping dead bodies in their homes for days. President Lenin Moreno said last week that some 3,500 people could die from the coronavirus in Guayas province, home to 68% of the country’s cases and where Guayaquil is located.Among the dead so far have been seven nurses, according to the Guayas College of Nurses, which added that some 147 nurses had been infected and 120 had resigned for fear of contagion.”Each day, the number of staff is falling,” said Lilia Triana, the organization’s president. Topics :center_img The government, which last week began storing the bodies of coronavirus victims in giant refrigerated containers until graves were prepared, is aiming to bury some 100 people a day at the cemetery in northern Guayaquil, which has the capacity for some 2,000 plots.Jorge Wated, who is coordinating the government’s response to the handling of the dead, said the government was conducting burials itself and would publish a guide on the internet to ensure relatives knew where their loved ones were buried.”At the cemetery, they will be buried person by person, without cost to the families,” Wated said.The city of Guayaquil also said it would prepare two public cemeteries with the capacity to handle some 12,000 plots.last_img read more


COVID-19: Jakarta extends PSBB through Ramadan

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgAnyone found violating the PSBB measures, such as individuals participating in public gatherings and offices of nonessential companies remaining open, will be punished to educate the public, Anies went on to say.Under the PSBB regulations, all workplaces, except those in essential sectors such as the financial, fuel, food, medicine, retail, water, communications and logistic sectors, must remain closed and implement work-from-home policies.Nonessential workplaces found operating during the PSBB period will be sealed up, while their business licenses will be revoked if they continue to violate the restrictions.“The provincial administration and the Industry Ministry are reviewing the businesses that previously received permits to continue operating during the PSBB period. If we find that they are not in an essential sector, [the administration] will ask the ministry to review their permits,” Anies said.Read also: Indonesia to evaluate partial lockdown as companies, factories continue business as usualThe Jakarta administration will continue to distribute social aid to around eligible 1.2 million families including packages of staple food, cloth masks and soap worth around Rp 150,000 (US$9.63).Anies added that the administration would update its data on the social aid beneficiaries, as many people were continuing to lose their jobs due to the crisis. The updated data and distribution map will be able to the public at corona.jakarta.go.id.Jakarta, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, had recorded 3,383 cases with 301 fatalities and 322 recoveries as of Wednesday. Nationwide, 7,418 cases have been recorded with 635 fatalities.While the number of confirmed cases is continuing to increase, Anies said fewer bodies had been buried according to COVID-19 protocol following the implementation of PSBB measures. The Jakarta administration announced on Wednesday that the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) will be extended until May 22 as the COVID-19 outbreak has yet to subside.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan made the decision to extend the restrictions – initially slated to end Thursday – for another 28 days after consulting with health experts and the Jakarta Health Agency.“The key to implementing PSBB measures is for all parties to be disciplined,” Anies said during a press briefing at City Hall on Wednesday. Topics :center_img “If we are disciplined, stay at home and reduce our activities outside, Insya Allah [God willing] this outbreak will be overcome soon.”The governor also urged Muslims to conduct religious rituals during Ramadan, such as tarawih (evening prayers), at home with their families rather than in congregations. He also urged Jakartans not not to participate in the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) in compliance with the government’s recent ban.Read also: Coronavirus outbreak may end in June with ‘mudik’ ban: IDIThis year, Ramadan will last from Friday until May 24.last_img read more


North Korean capital sees ‘panic buying’ of food, NK News says

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgNorth Korea closed its borders in January when coronavirus cases in neighboring China began to skyrocket. Kim’s regime has said it has no confirmed infections from the virus but the US is “fairly certain” it has cases because of a noticeable lack of military activity, General Robert Abrams, commander of US Forces Korea, told reporters in a teleconference briefing in March.Food shortages are common in North Korea, which is one of the world’s poorest states. In the 1990s, a famine killed as much as 10 percent of the population, according to some estimates.The virus could make things worse. The United Nations’ World Food Program warned this week that economic hardship caused by the pandemic may lead to starvation in the developing world. The WFP, which has operations in North Korea, has said about 40% of the population is undernourished, adding “food insecurity and malnutrition are widespread.”Kim was conspicuously absent from birthday celebrations on April 15 of his grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung. He has not been seen since a politburo meeting on April 11, raising speculation about his condition.The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim on Wednesday sent a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Letters of this sort are reported frequently.US officials said Monday they were told Kim was in critical condition after undergoing cardiovascular surgery last week and they were unsure of his current health. Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office said that Kim was conducting “normal activities” in a rural part of the country assisted by close aides and no special movements were detected.The health of North Korea’s leader is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the isolated state, known only to a few people in its inner circle. US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t know about Kim’s health, adding that he might reach out to check on him.Topics : Consumers in North Korea’s capital this week have been “panic buying” food staples, causing some store shelves to empty, according to a news service that specializes in the country.The purchases may be due to stricter coronavirus measures on the way for Pyongyang and don’t appear related to reports this week that leader Kim Jong Un may be seriously ill, NK News reported, citing people who live in Pyongyang and were able to communicate outside the country. Shortages were initially limited to imported fruit and vegetables and then moved on to other goods, it said.Radio Free Asia also reported last week that the prices of food staples in North Korea were rising sharply because of panic buying.last_img read more


PREMIUMPertamina boosts oil imports amid fall in global prices, decline in local production

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgTopics : Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina will increase its oil imports to take advantage of the fall in oil prices in the global market as part of the company’s strategy in securing the domestic fuel supply amid a projected drop in local oil production.Pertamina president director Nicke Widyawati said the oil giant planned to gradually import up to 10 million barrels of crude oil and 9.3 million barrels of gasoline this year, mostly from the Middle East and Africa.“We are not just planning to meet demand for this year,” said Nicke at a House of Representative (DPR) hearing on Tuesday (21/4). “We see an opportunity, while prices are low, to build up stocks,” Nicke said in the meeting, which was conducted by video call.Pertamina earlier said it had revised down its oil and gas production target by 3 percent to 894,000 barrels of oil per day (mbopd… Linkedin Google Log in with your social account Facebook Indonesia pertamina imports crude-oil-price plunge DPR hearing productionlast_img read more


Big fall in COVID-19 deaths in France

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

first_imgWith the country’s health system still under strain, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will set out his strategy for ending the lockdown before parliament on Tuesday.Ministers have identified 17 priorities for gradually bringing the country out of eight weeks of confinement in a “controlled, progressive” manner from May 11.Schools in some areas are expected to reopen, with companies returning to work and public transport going back to a more normal timetable as a testing system and support for the elderly are put into place.  The numbers of COVID-19 victims in intensive care also dropped, but only slightly, to 4,682. But officials said they were worried by an increase in critically ill patients suffering from other conditions.More than 7,553 people were in intensive care units in France on Sunday — 50 percent more than the country’s total capacity before the epidemic struck. Overall, 28,217 people are being treated in hospital for the virus.  France reported a big fall in its coronavirus toll on Sunday, with 242 deaths in 24 hours, a drop of more than a third on the previous day.The epidemic has now claimed 22,856 lives in the country since the beginning of March, health officials said. The number of deaths in hospitals — 152 — was the lowest daily toll in five weeks, they said, while 90 people died in nursing and care homes.center_img Topics :last_img read more