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Jakarta retightens coronavirus screws

Governor reimposes tight social restrictions following Covid-19 spike in Indonesia's capital city

Jakarta retightens coronavirus screws

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan announces the reimposition of tight Covid-19 restrictions in Indonesia’s capital city at a press conference livestreamed from Jakarta City Hall on Sept. 13. (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

Authorities in Jakarta are reimposing tight restrictions in the Indonesian capital following a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the past few days.

City governor Anies Baswedan said the restrictions would last from Sept. 14 until Sept. 28 and were being imposed after the city of 10 million residents recorded more than 3,850 new cases over the last 12 days.

This follows a gradual easing of restrictions since June that allowed places of worship shopping malls and offices to reopen.

“We need to take measures to control the number of Covid-19 cases in Jakarta. If we do not, there will be huge impacts on the economy and socio-culture,” Baswedan told a news briefing on Sept. 13.

Schools were to close, while bosses in non-essential businesses were required to only allow between 25-50 percent of their employees in offices and let the rest work from home.

Places of worship in local communities would be allowed to stay open at 50 percent of capacity but larger places of worship would be closed, as would public places like parks and gardens, the governor said.

“Restaurants and cafes in shopping malls can remain open but serve takeaways only,” Baswedan said.

Public transport, meanwhile, can only operate at 50 percent of capacity.

“We must be disciplined in the next few days. Principally, we are encouraging people to stay at home, to study at home, to work from home, and to pray at home,” he said.

The governor also said people who test positive for the virus will be quarantined in government facilities and not allowed to isolate at home.  

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City police chief Nana Sudjana said officers would be on the streets to enforce the rules, while Jakarta’s military commander Maj. Gen. Dudung Abdurrachman called on people to cooperate. “Firmness must be prioritized to contain the contagion,” he said.

As of Sept. 13, Jakarta had recorded 54,220 out of 218,382 Covid-19 cases in Indonesia and 1,391 out of 8,723 deaths.

Earlier, Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi called on religious followers living in high-risk areas to pray at home.

“Obedience and discipline regarding health protocols must be followed as part of the materialization of religious teachings. It will make a huge contribution to the fight against Covid-19 in our country,” kompas.com quoted him as saying.

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