COVID-19 infection crosses 97.2 million globally as deaths cross more than 2.08 million.
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Here is the ASEAN status as of Tuesday, 7am, January 26, 2021
Two active COVID-19 cases remain in Sultanate
January 22, 2021
Brunei Darussalam recorded nine days without new COVID-19 cases and 260 days without local transmissions in the country as of yesterday, keeping the national tally of confirmed cases at 174.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are two active cases receiving treatment at the National Isolation Centre in the Tutong District.
Cambodia’s COVID-19 tally increases to 453 while migrant workers cluster rises to 81
Cambodia registered another four COVID-19 positive cases amongst returning migrant workers from Thailand, along with one imported case from the United States, also involving a Cambodian.
The four migrant workers infected and tested positive for the virus are a 40-year-old female from Kbal Spean 1 Village, Sangkat Poipet, Poipet City, Banteay Meanchey Province and who had arrived in Cambodia on 6 January, 2021, a 36-year-old female from Kbal Spean 2 Village, Sangkat Poipet, Poipet City, Banteay Meanchey Province and who had arrived in Cambodia on the same date and a 40-year-old woman from Chambok village, Krous commune, Svay Chrum district, Svay Rieng province who returned to Cambodia on 6 January, 2021.
All of the above cases were tested positive on the 13th day test are now admitted to the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Referral Hospital for treatment.
The fourth migrant worker is a 42-year-old woman from Sangkat Kampong Svay, Serey Sophorn City, Banteay Meanchey Province who had arrived in Cambodia on 19 January, 2021.
She is currently being treated at the Pailin Provincial Referral Hospital.
The imported case involves a Cambodian woman aged 43, from Pursat province who had travelled from the United States and arrived in Cambodia on 7 January, 2021 after transiting via South Korea. She was tested positive on the 13th day and has been to the National Center for Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C in Phnom Penh.
There were a total of 108 passengers on the flight, including the infected patient. The remaining 107 had tested negative.
Two of the passengers who had tested negative after the 14 days quarantine period were US diplomats.
The total of 453 confirmed cases include 327 Cambodians, 45 French, 18 Chinese, 13 Malaysians, 13 Indonesians, 12 Americans, 6 British, 3 Vietnamese, 3 Canadians, 3 Indians, 2 Hungarians, 2 Pakistanis, 2 Japanese, 1 Belgian, 1 Kazakhstani, 1 Polish, and 1 Jordanian. Of them, 77 are Cambodian migrant workers from Thailand.
Of these 81 are migrant workers who returned from Thailand.
– UNDP supports govt response to Covid-19
Laos will continue to work with its development partners including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the ongoing improvement of health services. This was the message when UNDP handed over computers and software to the Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, under the Ministry of Health, Dr Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh.
Indonesian Students in Australia Torn Between Staying and Returning Home
BY :SIENNA CURNOW & ELENA COUPER
JANUARY 25, 2021
Laurensia Hanusin, who studies communications in Melbourne, returns to her hometown of Palembang after the Australian government halts financial supports for international students amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jakarta. While Covid-19 numbers explode in Indonesia and settle in Australia, the fate of the international students caught in between remains unclear.
With the Australian government offering little assistance to struggling students, some are forced to return home where Covid-19 cases are nearing the 1 million mark. The real number is likely to be even higher due to the limited testing capacity. In comparison, Australia’s harsh lockdowns have kept the virus outbreak relatively under control.
The Australian government did not extend the financial support to the international students. With temporary non-essential business closures, sources of income for many vanished overnight. As a result, Indonesian students in Melbourne were left with a decision: to remain in lockdown away from family, or to return home at a greater risk of contracting the virus.
For communications student Laurensia Hanusin, the completion of her final year of studies kept her in Australia. Following her father’s wedding in March, he contracted the virus and sadly passed away in June 2020. Indonesia’s mortality rate from Covid-19 stands at 3.1 percent, higher than the global rate of 2.4 percent.
Permanently returning home in the last two weeks has seen Laurensia adapt to the ways of locals in her hometown of Palembang. The fictitious state of normalcy in Palembang, which seems to be going about business as usual, provides a stark contrast to the strict regulations imposed in Australia.
“I was scared, but I’m getting used to it,” Laurensia said.
“I think it’s hard if Indonesia wanted to try and do what Australia did. Obviously, it’s much better in Australia because the government is able to give people money to stay at home. But in Indonesia, it seems impossible.”
Human Nutrition student and Jakarta resident, Kristina Maria, decided to leave amid Melbourne’s lockdown in September as the prospect of transitioning back to onsite learning drifted further out of reach.
“We had a discussion, me and my family, about whether I should go back or not because I want to continue my studies and do my post-grad, but in the end my dad decided that I should see my grandparents,” Kristina said.
With vulnerable relatives, Kristina continues to largely act as though in a Melbourne-equivalent lockdown for the safety of those close to her.
For Kristina, watching case numbers increase globally in July meant that the online learning set up would be continued for the foreseeable future. Reaching the conclusion that she may as well study from home with her family as the second semester was confirmed to be online, Kristina went through the logistical nightmare of overseas travel mid-pandemic.
“I didn’t think there’d be any flights,” she said.
“It was a bit confusing as well about whether I wanted to go back home or not because I knew the situation back home is actually much worse than in Melbourne.”
As Covid-19 first reached Australia’s shores last March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison flatly informed international students that “it’s time to go home”. A heavy statement considering that international students contribute $40 billion AUD (around $30.957 billion) to the Australian economy and support 250,000 jobs.
A sudden lack of income or financial support closed the doors of opportunity on students hoping to commence further studies. For those who were forced to return home, the Morrison government has still not clearly indicated when it will be possible for them to return.
In reflection of their international programs throughout the pandemic, the University of Sydney has prioritised communication above all else.
“[We keep students] updated through emails and phone calls, and have run a number of surveys to gauge how they are coping,” the university’s spokesperson told the Jakarta Globe.
Support on offer includes financial assistance, learning support, mental health and wellbeing support, peer-to-peer support and technology assistance.
The Australian National University (ANU) offered the ANU Vice Chancellor’s International scholarship, made up of 200 awards with a maximum value of $25,000 AUD, thirty of which were reserved for students from Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. In addition, ANU offered the ANU Global Diversity scholarship to attract students from across diverse regions of the world, encompassing up to 100 awards worth $18,750 per year for up to four years.
An RMIT University spokesperson shared with Jakarta Globe that RMIT’s Student Hardship Assistance and Equity Scholarship funds were also expanded in 2020 to provide up to $10 million in support to domestic and international students impacted by Covid-19.
Each university which provided comment attested to their commitment to collaborating with their respective state or territory’s government to support the prompt return of international students when safe to do so.
The Australian government has allowed enrolled international students to lodge a further student visa application free of charge if their studies were affected by the pandemic. Students who work in the health sector have been permitted to work in excess of 40 hours per fortnight.
In order to receive an additional visa, students must demonstrate that their studies were deferred due to travel restrictions, they were forced to reduce their study load to part-time, or they were unable to complete required work-based training. This mercy does not extend to students who have failed a course, deferred for personal reasons or voluntarily reduced their study load.
Australia’s Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said “in making these changes, we have been guided by the principles that the health of Australians is key, but that international students should not be further disadvantaged by Covid-19.”
A large number of international students may be unable to apply for visas or have fees waived if they are unable to explicitly demonstrate the impact of Covid-19 on their studies as stipulated in the above conditions.
This could very well be the case for those who are suffering poor mental health, likely under unforeseen financial strain, undertaking full-time study and who are away from friends and family who are likely suffering the effects of the pandemic.
Though the academic futures of Indonesian students studying abroad in Australia remains uncertain, the socio-cultural impacts of the coronavirus are cause for concern as the pandemic has seen Australia become increasingly insular.
For Sheirine Gunawan, an Asian Studies major, concerns over the racially motivated attacks toward university students in April near her apartment in Melbourne were the catalyst for her return home to Jakarta. Two Singaporean students were verbally and physically attacked by two Caucasian females, being called “Coronavirus” and being told to “go back to China”.
Kristina also experienced similiar discrimination first-hand. When walking along a narrow pathway with a friend, a Caucausian woman yelled at them to stay away from her and maintain social distance, despite the difficulty in doing so, given the pathway’s design and the fact that all were properly wearing masks.
Now that Australia has largely contained its virus outbreak, the return of international students to its shores hinges on the effectiveness of the national vaccination rollout. In Australia, vaccinations will be free for all international students according to the Australian Covid-19 vaccination policy.
However, given the unpredictability of the pandemic, it is impossible to say when significant numbers of students can return to Australia.
In the meantime, Australian tertiary institutions are focusing on providing a variety of teaching modes to accommodate the various circumstances that international students find themselves in.
What awaits students beyond that remains a mystery.
Indonesia Sets Record for Most Coronavirus Cases and Deaths in a Month
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO
JANUARY 22, 2021
Southeast Asia’s biggest country has recorded a total of 965,283 coronavirus cases and 27,453 deaths since the outbreak began, according to Health Ministry data released on Friday.
The total number of active cases stands at a record 156,683 or 16.2 percent of the overall cases.
Newly cases and death toll have been rising dramatically since late November and growing even faster since early this month with experts blaming traveling and gathering during year-end holiday season for the sudden spike.
The country has added 222,085 cases in the 22-day period, above the previous monthly record of 204,315 reported in December.
With still nine days to go, January already becomes the deadliest month in the Indonesian outbreak, with 5,315 Covid deaths month to date to beat the December death toll of 5,193, according to the Jakarta Globe tally.
Jakarta has registered more than 59,000 cases month to date, already well above its monthly record of 46,800 cases in December, to take its total to 243,018 — more than any other provinces.
The figures include 3,918 deaths, the third-highest death toll after that of East and Central Java.
West Java comes next with a total of 121,239 cases and 1,493 deaths. It has been averaging more than 1,700 cases since the beginning of the month.
The total number of cases in the country’s most populous province has jumped by 127 percent since December 1.
Central Java has recorded 111,623 cases overall, including 4,871 deaths. The daily count in Central Java has topped 1,000 cases in the last two weeks.
East Java has more Covid deaths than any other provinces, totaling 7,266 from 104,342 cases overall.
The four provinces in the country’s most crowded island of Java make up 60 percent of the total number of cases nationwide.
South Sulawesi is the second province where the total number of cases has more than doubled in less than two months.
It has recorded a total of 44,290 cases, an increase of 113 percent on its figures on December 1.
The average of daily numbers in South Sulawesi currently stands at 602, in comparison to 335 in December.
East Kalimantan has added nearly 9,000 cases month to date to take its total to 36,048. It has the highest number of Covid deaths outside Java, totaling 921.
Coronavirus cases are rising at a faster speed this month in other hotspots like Bali, Banten and, in particular, Yogyakarta.
Both Banten and Bali have recorded over 23,000 cases overall to join the ten worst-affected provinces, averaging more than 230 cases this month.
Yogyakarta now has thrice the total number of cases on December 1, from 6,073 to 18,736.
The country reported +0 new case recorded, total at 41. No deaths.
The country reported +3,631 new cases, taking total to 165,371 and +14 new deaths, total is at 619 deaths.