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Issue No:85
  • :0976 1121
  • :May
  • :2021

Samudra Report No.85, May 2021

 

Indonesia / COVID-19

Backs to the Wall

Through a mix of downplaying, intransparency and undertesting, the largest archipelago nation in the world paid little heed to its vulnerable fishers during the COVID-19 pandemic


This article is by Marthin Hadiwinata (hadiwinata.ahmad@gmail.com), Executive Director, The Marine and Ecology Institute, Indonesia


Edy, a fisherman on Indonesia’s Pari island said: “For almost three months we did not travel outside the island. Earlier, we got additional income from tourism during the holiday season. This time around, there was no supplementary income because our tourist attractions were closed. And then our income from fishing, too, dropped by 50-70 per cent.”

It took the Indonesian government more than two long months last year to negotiate and categorize the COVID-19 pandemic a ‘national disaster’. By then, the country had registered 4,557 cases of infection and 399 deaths due to the pandemic. Before establishing any health safety protocols and mitigation measures, the government established quarantine measures at three major entry and exit points of the country: ports, airports and national land border posts. Panic ensued almost immediately. Lockdowns, restrictions on movement and reduction in number of workers meant an...

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