Indonesia’s Jakarta returns to lockdown for at least two weeks

Jakarta, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Starting Monday, the nearly 10 million inhabitants of Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta will have to comply with strict social distancing measures for at least two weeks amid the risk of an uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 cases.

The crowded capital has recorded more than 54,000 cases since the start of the epidemic, almost a quarter of the total number of confirmed cases in the entire country, and over 1,390 deaths, the highest number of COVID-19 casualties.

The decision by the authorities to enforce this measure comes amid concerns that the city’s health system, which is already facing serious capacity constraints, will collapse.

“We feel that we need to enact stricter measures so that the rise in (Covid-19) cases in Jakarta can be controlled,” Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said in a press conference on Sunday.

Schools, recreational areas, parks and sports facilities in the city, which was in a phase of transitioning to the new normal after a previous partial lockdown that ended in June, will be closed while seminars, conferences and weddings, among other social events, will be suspended.

The re-imposition of the measures, including the halt and restriction of non-essential economic activity, will be in effect until Sep. 28, although they could be extended.

These measures do not affect the provinces and cities adjoining the megacity.

Many of the outbreaks have been detected in office districts, where teleworking will be encouraged, according to the governor.

Moreover, asymptomatic patients with mild symptoms will be transferred from Monday to government quarantine centers, rather than allowing them to self-isolate at home as had been the norm until now.

Places of worship will be allowed to operate with 50 percent of their capacity although those located in high-risk areas will be closed.

Travel outside the city will be allowed, albeit with certain limitations.

Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world with 267 million inhabitants, is second most affected Southeast Asian country by the coronavirus with more than 218,000 confirmed cases.

However, it has the highest fatality rate in the region with 8,723 deaths. EFE


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