Jakarta Extends Social Distancing Measures To Stem Virus Spread

JAKARTA - The Indonesian capital will extend its second partial lockdown for another two weeks starting from Sept 28, as nearby cities continue to see a surge in coronavirus cases.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Thursday (Sept 24) that the number of active cases had followed a downward trend in line with reduced movement since the restrictive measures were reimposed on Sept 14. 

He noted that since the measures were implemented, the figure of active Covid-19 cases rose by 12 per cent to 1,453, compared to a 49 per cent rise to 3,864 cases in the first 12 days of September. 

Although the infection rate in Jakarta has slowed, cases continue to climb quickly in cities around the capital – Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi.

Dr Anies said that despite the early signs of slower growth in cases in Jakarta, the city government still needs to continue pushing down the increase of infections.

“Flattening the curve of the active cases is not the ultimate goal. We still need to work together to break the chain of infections,” he said in a statement. He added that while the government continues to step up testing, tracing and treatment, residents are advised to stay at home and only go out when necessary.

The large-scale social restrictions in Jakarta, a city of some 10 million people, were less strict than the first lockdown in April.

The current measures include the prohibition of dine-in services at restaurants and cafes, and the closure of all entertainment venues, parks and sports facilities.  Companies in non-essential sectors can continue to operate but only with 25 per cent of employees working in offices.

Stiffer penalties have been introduced to individuals and business entities breaching the rules.

As of Thursday, Jakarta had 66,731 infections in total and  1,648 deaths. The entire country recorded 262,022 cases and 10,105 fatalities. The death toll in Indonesia is the highest in South-east Asia.

With the current rate of testing in Jakarta, it is estimated that in the absence of restrictive measures, the capital will register 2,000 active cases per day by mid-October, and the number of active cases will amount to 20,000 in early November. 

 
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Prior to the reimposition of the social restrictions, the city government had said that hospitals in Jakarta might soon be unable to accommodate more patients, leading to a greater number of fatalities.

As of Wednesday, the occupancy rates of isolation beds and ICU beds in the hospitals were 81 per cent and 74 per cent.   

Source : https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/coronavirus-jakarta-to-extend-stricter-movement-restrictions-by-two-weeks