COVID-19 affecting livelihoods of millions of East Java workers

COVID-19 affecting livelihoods of millions of East Java workers

East Java Deputy Governor Emil Elestianto Dardak (second from left). (ANTARA/Fiqih Arfani)

Surabaya, E Java, (ANTARA) - Around 3.8 million workers engaged in the trade, transportation, accommodation, and food and beverage sectors, among others, in East Java Province have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the provincial government said.

"The precise figure of affected workers from every sector still needs to be validated," East Java Deputy Governor Emil Elestianto Dardak told journalists on Monday in Surabaya, the capital of East Java Province.

Some of the affected workers have received non-cash safety net assistance packages, but many others are yet to get such aid, he noted adding, the exact number of affected workers would be ascertained by the Statistics Indonesia (BPS) Agency.

The BPS will provide data on affected workers from the formal and informal sectors as well as independent workers and those working for others, he explained.

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia has hit several business sectors hard. Several hoteliers in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra Province, for instance, are thinking of closing their businesses temporarily due to poor occupancy rates.

"So far, there are no hotels in Palembang which have ceased operations," head of South Sumatra Province's Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Herlan Aspiudin, revealed.

COVID-19, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December, 2019, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of 9.50 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB) on March 30, there were 721,817 COVID-19 patients worldwide, while the number of fatalities stood at 33,968, according to the Johns Hopkins University's Corona Resource Center.

While the United States has reported the most infections (142,326), Italy has seen the highest number of deaths (10,779).

In Indonesia, there have been 1,285 confirmed cases and 114 fatalities so far, with Jakarta continuing to report the highest number of infections and deaths. (INE)

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