How Countries Deal with the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Indonesia and Slovakia - Atlantis Press

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Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180
                     Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Management (INSYMA 2021)

        How Countries Deal with the Covid-19 Pandemic:
           A Case Study of Indonesia and Slovakia
                        Adi Prasetyo Tedjakusuma1,* & Slavomír Rudenko2

 University of Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia
 Pan-European University, Bratislava, Slovakia
* Corresponding author. Email:

First reported in China in December 2019, the Covid-19 has now been growing to a very se-
vere pandemic with more than 117 million cases worldwide only in one year. To minimize
the pandemic impacts on the world’s citizens, any country worldwide must take care of its
respective citizens by carrying out various programs and policies to deal with the pandemic.
As such, this paper presents what programs and policies have been done by countries
worldwide by taking up a case study approach to reflect on the public policies of an emerg-
ing economy - Indonesia and an industrialized country - Slovakia. From the findings, it can
be concluded that both Indonesia and Slovakia have done their best to mitigate the pandem-
ic, although facing several different challenges based on their respective population struc-
ture, economic and political specificities.
Keywords: Covid-19, pandemic, vaccine, industrialized and emerging economy countries.

1 INTRODUCTION                                                          Being the fifth world’s pandemic after
                                                                   the Spanish Flu in 1918 (known as the first
First reported on December 31, 2019, in                            pandemic) that caused 50 million human
Wuhan city China, the Covid-19 has been                            deaths, Asian Flu in 1957 with 1.5 million
growing to a very severe pandemic that at-                         deaths, Hong Kong Flu in 1968 with 1 mil-
tacks countries worldwide (Khanna et al                            lion deaths, Pandemic Flu (H1N1) in 2009
2020). According to Steffens (2020) only                           with 300,000 deaths does not make the
within 30 days, on January 29, 2020, the                           world able to minimize the impacts of this
number of covid-19 cases grew to 6,000,                            current pandemic (Liu et al 2020), as evi-
spread over 18 countries worldwide, and in-                        dence that, as of March 5, 2021, the number
creased around 1,300% to 83,000 cases on                           of Covid-19 cases reaches 116 million with
February 28, 2020. This rapid growth of the                        2.5 million deaths (worlddometers 2021).
virus has attracted the world’s attention, as                      Not to mention the socio-economic impacts
evidenced that the World Health Organiza-                          of this pandemic to the world, where global
tion (WHO), portrayed as the highest organ-                        economic growth declined from 2.4% in
ization that is responsible for the world’s                        2019 to -4.2% in 2020 (OECD 2021), about
public health conditions, declared the Covid-                      60 million people may be categorized as ex-
19 situation to be a Public Health Emergen-                        treme poverty, 1.2 billion students are af-
cy of International Concern on January 30,                         fected due to school/campus closures, 1.6
2020, named the virus to be Covid-19 on                            billion informal workers loss 60% of their
February 20, 2020, and declared it as a glob-                      income, global trade declined by 3%, and
al pandemic on March 11, 2020 (Khanna et                           about 1 billion loss of international tourists
al 2020).                                                          (UNDP 2020).

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Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

    To minimize the pandemic impacts on                1.4 An Industrialized Country
the world’s citizens, it is an obligation of
countries worldwide to take care of their re-          Opposite to an emerging economy, an indus-
spective citizens by carrying out various              trialized country refers to a country with
programs and policies to deal with the pan-            high economic growth levels and security
demic. Hence, it is interesting to discuss var-        evidenced by the countries’ high income per
ious programs, rules, or policies carried out          capita, income equality, high standard of liv-
by different countries. Considering that, this         ing, high industrialization level, and promi-
paper taking up a case study approach to re-           nent infrastructure (Majaski & Boyle 2020)
flect on the public policies of an emerging
economy - Indonesia and an industrialized
country - Slovakia.                                    2 RESEARCH METHODS

                                                       The current research applies a descriptive re-
1.1 Covid 19
                                                       search method combining primary data of
Covid-19 stands for “CO” for Corona, “VI”              observations and interviews with residents in
for Virus, “D” for disease, and 19 represents          both countries and secondary data from
the year when it was first identified. It is a         newspapers, websites, articles, textbooks,
contagious disease caused by the Corona vi-            and study centers from the beginning of
rus with cough, fever, and shortness of                Covid-19 in January 2020 to March 2021.
breath and may cause fatality. People can be
infected through direct contact with an in-
fected person, touching their face, or even            3 RESULT AND DISCUSSION
touching surfaces contaminated with the vi-
rus (UNICEF, WHO, IFRC 2020).
                                                       3.1 Indonesia
1.2 Pandemic                                           Located in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is
                                                       known as the world’s 10th largest economy
   Pandemic is one disease spread and rate
                                                       in terms of purchasing power parity, the
classifications that consist of endemic, ep-
                                                       world’s fourth most populous nation with
idemic, and pandemic. As the lowest clas-
                                                       about 275 million inhabitants, and a member
sification, endemic refers to the spread of
                                                       of the G-20. In Indonesia, the first covid-19
disease only in a particular community of
                                                       case occurred on March 2, 2020, where a 64-
a country. The second comes epidemic,
                                                       year age mother and her daughter were in-
where a disease spreads over many people
                                                       fected, and a year later, the cases are now
within a country, and pandemic comes the
                                                       1.3 million with 37,000 deaths (worlddome-
highest as it spread over many countries or
                                                       ters 2020). During the pandemic, Indone-
even continents (physiopedia 2021).
                                                       sia’s economic growth shrank from 4.97% in
                                                       Q4 of 2019 to 5.32% in Q2 of 2020 but
1.3 An Emerging Economy Country                        bounced back to - 2.07 in Q4 of the same
An emerging economy country refers to an               year (tradingeconomics 2021). Programs and
economy that is in the process of becoming a           policies that have carried out by the Indone-
developed economy. They are characterized              sian government are as follows:
by low production rates, low education level,
                                                       3.1.1 Strategic Responses
less developed infrastructure, a lower stand-
                                                       As the Indonesian government’s very first
ard of living, limited access to health care
                                                       response, on March 13, 2 days after the
and low income per capita (Banton & West-
                                                       WHO declared the Covid-19 a pandemic or
fall 2020).
                                                       about ten days after first Indonesia’s case,

Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

Indonesian President Joko Widodo estab-               card program, a program that prepares Indo-
lished Covid-19 Response Acceleration Task            nesian to have working skills; basic need
Force under Presidential Decree No 7 of               card where each individual receives IDR
2020. The Task Force was responsible di-              200,000; Free electricity for 450 KVa cus-
rectly to the President and under the Nation-         tomers and 50% for using 900 KVa custom-
al Agency for Disaster that works with the            ers; and low-cost housing subsidy. For tax
Ministry of Health, Indonesian Police, Ar-            incentive and economic stimulus, the budget
my, and regional government. It was estab-            is used to exempt income tax (for workers
lished to accelerate the handling of Covid-19         with income below IDR 200 million (USD
through the collaboration among relevant              13,500)/year; reduce the corporate income
ministries and local government. Seeing the           tax from 25 to 22%; support MSMEs, one of
growing covid-19 cases in Indonesia, in               which by delaying MSMEs’ debt payment
April, the President declared the pandemic            for six months; and support local govern-
as a national disaster, while several provin-         ment spending.
cial governments like Jakarta and East Java
implemented a large-scale social restriction          3.1.3 Mobility/Transportation Sector Re-
from April- September 2020. Moreover, four            sponses
months after the establishment, on July 20,               Aims to limit people (local people and
2020, the task force was dissolved and re-            foreigners) mobility, on March 31, 2020,
placed by the Covid-19 Mitigation and Na-             The Ministry of Law and Human Rights is-
tional Economic Recovery Team led by Co-              sued Regulation No 11 of 2020 prohibiting
ordinating Minister for Economic Affairs.             foreigners from entering Indonesia even un-
Compared to the task force that focused               til now. While to limit local people's mobili-
more on health, the recovery team that still          ty, on April 23, 2020, the Ministry of Trans-
exists focuses on health and recovers the In-         portation issued Regulation no 25 of 2020
donesian economy.                                     that prohibits homecomings, an annual rou-
                                                      tine activity for Muslims to come home to
3.1.2 Economic Sector Responses                       their hometown to celebrate Idul Fitri with
To stimulate its economy, on March 31,                families. To support this policy, the Ministry
2020, the Indonesian government ratified the          banned commercial flights from April 24-
Government Regulation no 1 Year 2020 in               May 7. On May 6, the Ministry allowed
lieu of Law that administers additional 2020          commercial flights with strict health proto-
State Budget Expenditure, worth IDR 405.1             col, and passengers must have negative PCR
trillion = USD 27 billion. The budget was al-         or rapid tests. While for local people mobili-
located IDR 70 trillion for tax incentives and        ty, the Indonesian government never imple-
credit for business, IDR 110 billion for so-          ments a lockdown policy, but social re-
cial protection, IDR 150 trillion for econom-         striction because Indonesian people get
ic recovery, and IDR 75 billion for                   income from daily activities like food deliv-
healthcare (Sekertariat Kabinet Republik In-          ery and online taxi, thus lockdown will stop
donesia 2020). For healthcare spending, the           Indonesians' income and discourage Indone-
budget is used to purchase medical equip-             sian economy. The government carried out
ment; give additional monthly incentives for          two different restrictions: a large-scale so-
medical workers that consist of USD 1,000             cial restriction (PSBB) held on April-
for a specialist, USD 750 for a general doc-          September 2020, and a community activities
tor, and USD 50 for a nurse; and give Social          restriction (PPKM) held on January-
Security Agency subsidy for the public. For           February 2021. They were both aimed at
social protection, budget amounting to IDR            limiting people's mobility but differed in
20 trillion is allocated for pre-employment           some ways.

Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

3.1.4 Education Sector Responses                       vaccine on January 13, 2021, where the In-
During the pandemic, on March 24, 2020,                donesian President was the first person vac-
the Ministry of Education and Culture de-              cinated. There will be 4 (four) vaccination
cided that students must Study From Home               phases from January 2021-February 2022
(SFH) and no national examination for pri-             (Sekertariat Kabinet Republik Indonesia
mary and secondary education. This is quite            2021b). Four vaccination phases are shown
a fascinating policy as previously Indone-             in Table 1.
sia’s national exams are known as the only
determinant for primary and secondary stu-
                                                       Table 1. Four Vaccination Phases in Indonesia
dents’ graduation. The SFH policy was then
                                                        Ph               Who                    When
extended until June 2021, known as the end                I Healthcare workers and January-April 2021
of primary and secondary education’s aca-                   equivalent
demic year. To support its SFH policy, the               II Indonesian Army, Indo- January-April 2021
Ministry gives a monthly internet quota to                  nesian Police, Public
                                                            service officers, law en-
all students and teachers from primary to                   forcement officers +
university-level. Additionally, in parallel                 >60 years old people
with a policy that prohibits foreigners from            III Vulnerable society seg- April       2021-March
entering Indonesia, the Ministry of Educa-                  ments, in terms of their 2022
tion prohibits international students from en-              geospatial, social, and
                                                            economic circumstances
tering Indonesia by not issuing new study               IV The public and econom- April 2021-Feb 2022
permits since April 9, 2020 until now.                      ic players

3.1.5 Game Changer (Vaccine)
    To mitigate the pandemic, the world is             3.2 Slovakia
now relying on vaccination, where it is ex-            Slovakia’s response to Covid-19 shall be
pected that if the majority of the global pop-         perceived out of a dual perspective – the na-
ulation is vaccinated, herd immunity can be            tional one and the one, based on the policies
formed. In general, herd immunity refers to            and the decisions of the country’s member-
indirect protection for those who are not              ship in the European Union (EU).
immune to the disease, which is formed by                 The first confirmed Covid-19 case in Slo-
having the majority of a population is im-             vakia was reported on March 6, 2020. Since
mune to a disease. Similar situation in Indo-          the infected person did not have a recent
nesia, by February 2022, the government in-            travel history, it was considered a secondary
tends to have vaccinated the majority of its           transmission case (UVZSR 2021). On March
population (i.e., 70%) to form herd immuni-            7, 2020, the positivity was confirmed for the
ty. In light of providing this vaccine to Indo-        person above’s son, having returned from
nesian people, as of January 12 2021, the In-          Venice, Italy, named “patient 0”. Although
donesian government has sealed about 329               the first preventive measures were in place
million doses of vaccine with 5 (five) vac-            in late February 2020, before the first cases
cine companies: Sinovac (125 million dos-              of positivity were even confirmed (such as
es), AstraZeneca (50 million doses), Novav-            certain limitations to mass events and gath-
ax (50 million doses), Pfizer (50 million              erings), the events have taken full speed
doses), and Covax AMC (54 million doses).              starting from March 12, 2020. On that day,
Another 300 million doses to make about                the closing of schools and other educational
600 million doses for vaccinating 170 mil-             institutions, the suspension of all cross-
lion (70% of 270 million Indonesian popula-            border transport, and an obligatory 14-day
tion) are on the negotiation process (Aldila           quarantine were announced. On March 15,
2021). The government has begun the first              2020, a state of emergency was announced

Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

for the first time. This was in place until            the Czech Republic, has ranked among the
June 14, 2020. During this first wave of the           countries with the highest Covid-19 deaths
pandemic (roughly between March-May                    per capita globally.
2020), the country has reported considerably               The most obvious reasons may be ob-
low case numbers, reaching a maximum 7-                served in both the political and social
day case count average of 60 on April 19,              moods. The political climates, on the one
2020, and the death remained low with only             hand, and the general public response, on the
double digits.                                         other hand, seem to have performed as inter-
    The situation had changed dramatically             connected factors. A new government, es-
after the summer months. This was partly               tablished in March 2020, amidst the first
due to the interdependent trend throughout             wave of the pandemic, has marked the limits
Europe and their spread across national bor-           to the ability to lead a nation through a
ders, partly because of a lack of consistency          health crisis with having come to power with
on the national political scene and rather             a pre-pandemic agenda. Even if led with the
prolonged inactivity in setting up rules and           best intentions, the promises of anti-
posing new restrictions. This has led to a             corruption policies did not conform with the
steep rise of cases between late September-            need to reach swift and appropriate public
November 2020, following a plateau; even-              policy measures to tackle Covid-19 and
tually, a gentle decline in case counts after          communicate them clearly to the wide pub-
the nationwide antigen testing on October 31           lic. As a matter of direct consequence, the
and November 1, 2020. The situation in Slo-            adherence to the anti-pandemic measures by
vakia between October 2020-March 2021                  the general public remained lax, even dis-
can be considered as a strong second wave              missive on a vast range of occasions. In Jan-
of Covid-19.      A new state of emergency             uary 2021, only 27 percent have approved
was brought into force from October 1,                 the actions of the government. Although, in
2020, and since then prolonged three times             general terms, the reliance on the political
consecutively. Partial lockdowns, combining            decisions may undoubtedly fall amidst cri-
stricter measures and shorter periods of their         ses, such as in case of a pandemic, anywhere
relaxation, were gradually introduced be-              in the world, the disapproval would not have
tween December 2020-March 2021 and still               become as striking, would the decisions
at the writing time.                                   have been rational, foreseeable, and well-
                                                       founded. None of the political representation
3.2.1 Political and social implications                members (neither the government nor the
   The Slovak response to Covid-19 un-                 legislative body) proved to the public that
doubtedly is an example of becoming a vic-             they knew what they were doing and how
tim of its previous success. Having been               their decisions will influence their daily live-
widely praised for its public policies, the            lihoods. The persisting result in the society
timeliness and efficiency of applied                   is a general mistrust and a much lower ob-
measures as one of the best performers                 servance of anti-pandemic measures, given
worldwide in the first wave of Covid-19,               by several months of lockdowns and an at-
right after its outbreak and well into the third       mosphere of pandemic fatigue compared to
quarter of 2020 (Chubarova et al. 2020), the           the first wave back in 2020.
failure to act at the right time to slow down
the growing case counts after the summer               3.2.2 Economic consequences
and in early autumn has brought the country               The general economic activity was grave-
to almost a collapse of its health care system         ly influenced in the first wave between
in the beginning of 2021. Throughout Janu-             March-May 2020, given the general anti-
ary and February 2021, Slovakia, alongside             pandemic measures all across the EU and

Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

globally. From Q3 of 2020, the economic               3.2.3 Vaccine Rollout
indicators have stabilized gradually and                 Slovakia's vaccination program is based
were driven by exports and household con-             on the joint vaccine acquisition for the
sumptions. Overall, the GDP decrease has              whole EU and their distribution into the
still recorded -2.4 %, compared to a decline          member countries accordingly by the share
of 12.1% in Q2. The overall 2020 economic             of their population on the EU total popula-
performance recorded a decline of 5.8%.               tion (approximately 450 million). This ap-
This decline was lower than the general EU,           proach was jointly decided in June 2020, al-
estimated to record - 7.2% (Grigaite et al.           lowing the EU to negotiate the purchase on
2021). The predictions for 2021 might seem            behalf of its member states. Although it
optimistic with an outlook of more than 4%;           helped reduce the cost, after the first deliver-
the persisting pandemic may change the pic-           ies at the end of December 2020, it was clear
ture. The positive anticipations are based on         that the negotiated amounts of vaccines will
a continued economic recovery after Q1 of             not be realistic due to severe production ca-
2021 and the ambitious schemes of the Eu-             pacity and thus supply problems on the side
ropean Economic Recovery Plan (Ministry               of basically all relevant producers.
of Finance of the SR 2021), so-called Re-                Contractually, the EU has secured a total
covery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which           of up to 2.6 billion doses from 6 different
should be worth €672.5 billion and address            producers – Pfizer/BioNTech (600 million
six different policy areas:                           doses), Moderna (460 mil.), CureVac (405
   the green transition                              mil.), AstraZeneca (400 mil.), Johnson &
   digital transformation                            Johnson/Janssen (400 mil.), and Sanofi/GSK
   smart, sustainable and inclusive growth           (300 mil.). Negotiations with Novavax and
      and jobs                                        Valneva are also underway (European
   social and territorial cohesion                   Commission 2021a). Prioritizing the popula-
   health and resilience                             tion of its member countries, the EU plans to
                                                      provide all the overflow of the vaccine or-
   policies for the next generation, includ-
                                                      ders to the COVAX initiative, aimed at en-
      ing education and skills (European
                                                      suring equitable access to the vaccines all
      council 2021).
                                                      over the world.
                                                         The vaccination in Slovakia began on
    The national measures to help people
                                                      December 26, 2020, when the leading Slo-
overcome the economic effects of the pan-
                                                      vak infectologist, who has also become the
demic have included direct economic stimu-
lus measures and employment-related                   face of the official vaccination campaign,
measures and strategies (Ministry Work of             has received his first Pfizer vaccine shot. So
Social Affairs and Family Slovak Republic             far, a total of 785.000 doses of vaccines have
2021). Aimed initially as a temporary solu-           been applied at the time of writing (March
tion to address the first Covid-19 wave,              24, 2021). Approximately 1/3 of the vac-
these were already prolonged twice, as even           cinated persons have already received their
at the time of writing substantial limitations,       second shot.
imposed by the government as measures to                 The expected time of 70 percent popula-
prevent the spread of the virus persist in            tion has been vaccinated to reach herd im-
daily economic life and include among oth-            munity is in the summer months or at the
ers closures of all non-essential businesses,         latest until the planned full re-opening of
services, education facilities, etc. A periodic       school education in September 2021. Cur-
testing commitment is imposed upon the                rently, as per the above table, registrations to
general public.                                       receive a shot are open for the first five
                                                      groups (korona 2021).

Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

   Although the prioritized population                       plied all over the EU, about the fact that a
groups are the older generations, senior care                person has been vaccinated, contain Covid-
residents, and healthcare staff, the overall                 19 test results for those who could not get a
vaccination strategy specifies 11 different                  vaccine yet, or information on Covid-19 re-
prioritized groups, as follows:                              covery. The certificate will be issued by the
                                                             respective national authorities of each mem-
Table 2. Eleven vaccination groups in Slovakia               ber state as a QR code with a digital signa-
                                                             ture (European Commission 2021b). It is
     Group                        Priority                   expected that it shall be applied in practice
     I  Healthcare staff, students of medical disciplines,   from May/June 2021 to allow at least some
        actively involved in medical care, other essential
        workers in healthcare and social services
                                                             relaxed form of a summer travel season. The
    II      General population above 85 years of age         initiative responds to the 2020 summer situa-
    III     General population above 70 years of age         tion when the lifting of border restrictions to
    IV       General population above 60 years of age        support the economies in countries with
     V       General population above 55 years of age        strong tourism sectors has led to the second
    VI       General population above 50 years of age        wave of Covid-19, more or less all across
    VII      General population above 45 years of age        Europe.
    VIII     General population above 40 years of age
    IX       General population above 35 years of age
    X        General population above 30 years of age        4 CONCLUSION
    XI       Anyone older than 18
                                                             This paper presents various Covid-19 miti-
                                                             gation programs and policies carried out by
3.2.4 The European Digital Green Certifi-                    Indophysionesia and Slovakia, providing a
cate Initiative                                              comparative study of different approaches in
Since the first wave of Covid-19, the free                   the Asian and European perspectives. Simul-
movement, being one of the EU’s funda-                       taneously, the study draws upon mechanisms
mental freedoms, was restricted. In certain                  applied in an emerging economy and an in-
phases, and more through bilateral solutions                 dustrialized country facing the same global
rather than in a coordinated way, reaching                   health crisis the world has not experienced
all through the continent, the restrictions and              for approx a century. From the above find-
limitations in the cross-border movement                     ings, it can be concluded that both Indonesia
were softened and tightened again, reaching                  and Slovakia have done their best to protect
a stage after one year, where basically no                   their economies and, from a statistical point
movement over the borders within Europe is                   of view, to mitigate the pandemic. In Indo-
allowed anymore without a negative Covid-                    nesia, it is proven that only about 1.3 million
19 test result and/or an obligation of quaran-               Indonesians, which is less than 0.5% of the
tine.                                                        total population, infected the virus, and the
     In its strive to simplify the patchy rules,             government's success stimulates economic
based on the public health measures and pol-                 growth from - 5.32% in Q2 2020 to - 2.07 in
icies of each country, the European Com-                     Q4 of the same year. Slovakia, being a
mission has decided, on March 17, 2021, to                   member of the European Union, has applied
create a so-called “Digital Green Certifi-                   both its national solutions, as well as joint
cate”, facilitating cross-border travel and                  European strategies, having become a coun-
aiming towards a gradual return to the com-                  try which was among the most successful in
plete application of the principle of free                   overcoming the first wave of Covid-19, right
movement of persons within the EU. The                       after its outbreak, to become a bad case sce-
certificate will provide a unified proof, ap-                nario on the height of the second wave of

Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 180

this worldwide public health crisis. It has               Liu Y-C., Kuo R-L, and Shih S-R. 2020.COVID-19:
become clear that the economy, although                       The first documented corona virus pandemic in
                                                              history. Biomedical Journal Vol. 43 (4), 328-333.
suffering considerably over a long time                   Majaski, Christina & Michael Boyle. 2020. Devel-
span, will recover sooner or later. However,                  oped         Economy.           Retrieved     from
the wounds of society, experiencing grave           
daily failures or inactivity in managing the              Ministry of Finance of the SR. 2021. The Macroeco-
pandemic and understanding peoples' needs,                    nomics is better than expected. Retrieved from
will undoubtedly lead to lost faith in the          
country's political representation and institu-               /makroekono           micka-prognoza-je-lepsia-ako-
tions and may persist in a thriving post-                 Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and
pandemic era.                                                 Informatization of the Slovak Republic. 2021.
                                                              Who and when will be able to be vaccinated?
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