Roundup: Indonesia to take stricter measures to curb spread of COVID-19

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 9, 2021
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by Bambang Purwanto

JAKARTA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has decided to take stricter measures under the new anti-coronavirus policy locally known as PPKM including stricter restrictions on business activities in order to curb the further spread of COVID-19.

Indonesia saw spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases in recent days with record daily new cases of 10,617 reported on Friday, followed by 10,046 on Saturday, bringing its total tally to 818,386.

In order to cope with the serious COVID-19 situation, the Indonesian government has decided to take stricter measures than the previous PSBB policy of large-scale social restrictions.

The new restrictions are expected to be effective from Jan. 11 to 25 on the country's main islands of Java and Bali.

At a limited cabinet meeting on Wednesday, President Joko Widodo instructed regional administrations to tighten control over activities of people especially in the areas posting COVID-19 fatality, recovery, active case and hospital bed occupancy rates inferior to the national average.

The PPKM policy requires a workplace to have 75 percent of its staff workers to work from home, teaching and learning activities to be carried out online, shopping centers to open for limited hours, restaurants to receive customers in number no more than 25 percent of their seats.

Among the new measures are also more stringent health protocols for construction work activities as well as a 50 percent limit of capacity for places of worship.

The PPKM policy also demands suspension of socio-cultural activities, closure of public facilities and limited capacity and operating hours of public transport means.

Head of Indonesia's national COVID-19 task force Doni Monardo said on Thursday that the PPKM restrictions imposed in a number of areas will help reduce active COVID-19 cases by up to 20 percent.

Meanwhile, Monardo urged people to continue to take preventive steps against the COVID-19 pandemic, including washing hands, maintaining social distance and wearing a mask.

In response to the government's new policy, head of the budget agency of Indonesia's House of Representatives Said Abdullah has called for extending the restrictions through Jan. 31 and to all districts and cities in Java and Bali, noting that the graph of COVID-19 infections in the country showed an upward trend in the last two weeks.

"With the implementation of the total restrictions, there will be no more conventional activities of offices, hotels, tours, restaurants and schools. Everything is carried out by online," he said while listing exemptions such as in food supply, medical care, construction and energy supply sectors, in a statement cited by the Antara news agency on Thursday. Enditem

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