Indonesia records single-day high in new cases
JAKARTA — Indonesia reported nearly 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, a new single-day high for the country that brought its total caseload past 30,000, as the government unveiled an enhanced stimulus package worth $47.6 billion to anchor the virus-battered economy.
The health ministry said there were 993 newly infected people over the past 24 hours. Indonesia has confirmed 30,514 cases, including 1,801 deaths, the most in Southeast Asia.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said a 677.2 trillion rupiah ($47.6 billion) stimulus package aims to strengthen the health care system, direct more spending toward social protection to boost consumption and provide incentives to rescue Indonesian businesses from bankruptcy and workers from layoffs.
The package is bigger than the one worth 641.17 trillion rupiah initially allocated in late April.
“We are hoping that this stimulus can maintain our economic growth at above zero percent,” Indrawati said at a live-streamed news conference.
She said Indonesia’s GDP growth could be lower than the government’s prediction of 2.3% this year. In the worst-case scenario, the government expects the economy to contract 0.4%, she added.
Indonesia’s economy grew just 2.9% in January-March, the slowest growth in almost two decades, as the pandemic made its effects felt in exports, investment, and consumption in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
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