Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto confirmed that the Indonesian Government had reduced the quarantine period required for international travellers and Umrah pilgrims to only a day.

"President Joko Widodo has instructed that the quarantine period for Umrah pilgrims and international travellers be reduced to one day, starting from tomorrow, with the issuance of a new Circular Letter from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB)," Hartarto noted during an online press conference on activities restriction enforcement (PPKM) on Monday.

According to the quarantine guide, travellers and pilgrims diagnosed with COVID-19 during the quarantine period would be promptly isolated, he explained.

The government recorded a 47-percent COVID-19 positivity rate among Umrah travellers, who are undergoing quarantine after their arrival in Indonesia, the coordinating minister noted.

He also urged government officials to step up efforts to boost the distribution of the COVID-19 second vaccine and called on residents to maintain health protocols and adhere to the PeduliLindungi registration requirements in public areas.

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"We will enter the Ramadan fasting period in 26 days. Hence, we must remain vigilant to the Omicron variant that may infect us," Hartarto remarked.

Regarding the distribution of smallholder business credits' (KUR's) interest subsidy, the coordinating minister noted that the scheme was extended for July until December, which required an additional budget of Rp6.33 trillion (US$434 million) to be procured from the national economic recovery fund in 2022.

The total budget for the interest subsidy programme consumes 11.97 percent of the national economic recovery fund allocated for this year, he revealed.

Hartarto also confirmed that the government will distribute Rp600-thousand (US$41.4) worth benefit to 2.76 million eligible recipients comprising one million street hawkers and small stall owners and 1.76 million fishermen.

"The benefit will be distributed in 212 cities and districts designated as priority regions in the extreme poverty eradication programme this year. We are optimistic of promptly realising the benefit distribution process," the coordinating minister affirmed.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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