Indonesian capital to reinstate large-scale social restrictions

Sep 10 , 2020. 6 hours ago – 03:46 KYODO NEWS

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s capital Jakarta will reinstate large-scale social restrictions beginning Monday due to a resurgence in novel coronavirus infections, its governor said Wednesday.

After first imposing the restrictions in early April, Jakarta gradually eased the measures starting in June as it managed to flatten the curve of new coronavirus cases. More recently, however, the emergence of new cases has seen a rapid increase.

Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan told a virtual press conference, “We have no other choice except immediately pulling the emergency brake” because the fatality rate and bed occupancy rate for new coronavirus patients keep going up, bringing the capital into an “emergency situation.”

“We will be back to the early days of the pandemic — working from home, studying from home and performing religious activities at home,” he added.

According to Baswedan, about 77 percent of the hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients with moderate symptoms are occupied, with the limit expected to be reached by Sept. 17 at current capacity levels.

Under the tightened restrictions, many socioeconomic activities outside the scope of essential services must be halted again, forcing some entertainment parks and shopping malls that have been operating under special conditions since June to be closed.

“Restaurants can only provide delivery service and are not allowed to give dine-in service,” Baswedan said.

Public transportation will be limited again and religious activities can only be performed in very small communities, the governor indicated.

“Until the vaccine becomes available, we must be ready to combat the pandemic by implementing social restrictions seriously and with full discipline,” he said.

The Indonesian government has eased restrictions despite warnings from epidemiologists over a possible second wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

On Wednesday, Indonesia reported 3,307 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number to 203,342, with 8,336 fatalities. Of the country’s 34 provinces, Jakarta recorded the highest number of new cases with 1,004, bringing its total to 49,397 cases with 1,334 fatalities.

CR: KYODO NEWS