Indonesia tightens measures amid Southeast Asia’s escalating Covid surge

Jakarta/Bangkok, Jul 3 (EFE).- Indonesia on Saturday tightened measures to combat the Covid-19 surge in the country, while other Southeast Asian countries were also battling severe outbreaks, some linked to the Delta variant.

Indonesian authorities imposed a partial lockdown until July 20 that focuses especially on the island of Java, which is home to more than 50 percent of the country’s 270 million population, and the tourist island of Bali.

Health authorities reported more than 25,000 new cases and 539 deaths on Friday, the highest numbers since the start of the pandemic.

Although the order does not oblige people to stay at home at all times, it imposes a temporary closure on schools, religious venues, parks, museums, sports stadiums, shopping centers, bars and restaurants, among other places.

However, weddings with up to 30 people and without food are allowed.

It also decrees that workers not assigned to essential services continue to work from home, while sectors such as finance, food, construction, energy and telecommunications can go to offices under strict health protocols.

People who want to travel long distances must present a vaccination certificate with at least one dose, and a negative test.

The Red Cross warned on Tuesday of the risk of the collapse of hospitals in Indonesia, where, according to official data, 47 percent of hospital beds are occupied, a figure that reaches 93 percent in the case of Jakarta.

The body added that the outbreak is linked to the Delta variant, which according to experts is more infectious.

Indonesia has both the region’s most accumulated cases, 2.2 million, and the highest death toll, almost 59,000, and has vaccinated 5.1 percent of the population with the full schedule.

Meanwhile, other countries in Southeast Asia are also battling Covid-19 surges linked to the Delta variant, although the measures vary by nation.

The Malaysian authorities, from June 1 under partial lockdown, also introduced on Saturday for two weeks more restrictive measures in capital Kuala Lumpur and its satellite cities, with a night curfew and the limitation of household departures to one person.

Thailand, where authorities have imposed few restrictions, on Saturday recorded 6,230 new cases and 41 deaths, with both reaching record highs in recent days amid a lack of enough hospital beds in the capital Bangkok.

Cambodia, along with Singapore, the country making the best progress with vaccination in the region, has registered in the last two days around 1,000 cases per day and high numbers of deaths, for which the authorities are studying imposing new measures. EFE


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