Indonesian Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto on Friday announced that his country will temporarily ban the export of face masks in order to safeguard supply in the domestic market. The latest announcement came as a precautionary measure taken amid the coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, the ban will last until the government is satisfied that there is adequate supply for the local market.
Prices of face masks and hand sanitisers skyrocketed after people started stockpiling protective supplies in several parts of the country. Agus Suparmanto said that Indonesia will start exporting face masks in the future when there is adequate supply for domestic consumers. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati during the same press conference said that finance ministry will provide necessary funds for the handling of COVID-19 in the country.
According to reports, Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the government has pledged IDR 1 trillion for medical needs in the country that will include medical cover for infected persons. The finance ministry also said that the government will allocate IDR 120 trillion from the State budget to provide subsidies for workers, businesses, and families affected by the coronavirus. The government will also stimulate the economy by providing tax incentives.
According to reports, Indonesia has so far recorded 34 cases of coronavirus since the disease first broke out in December last year, of which three patients have recovered fully and one patient has died. There are currently 30 active coronavirus cases in the country and all of them are placed under observation.
The novel coronavirus has so far claimed more than 4,900 lives across the world and has infected over 1,34,000 people globally. According to reports, the virus outbreak has affected more countries and more people than SARS, which broke out in 2002-2003. Media reports suggest that the virus originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy is the most affected country outside mainland China, where on March 13 the death toll crossed 1,000.