Covid-19: Jokowi announces health emergency in Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspects Jakarta International airport in Tangerang March 13, 2020, of its preparation to fight against any spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. — AFP pic
Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspects Jakarta International airport in Tangerang March 13, 2020, of its preparation to fight against any spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. — AFP pic

JAKARTA, March 31 — Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has announced that Indonesia is now under a public health emergency to combat the Covid-19 pandemic which has claimed 136 lives in the country.

President Jokowi ordered large-scale restrictions to be implemented in all aspects of community activities to fight the spread of the virus.

“We should learn from the experience of other countries (in combating Covid-19) but we would not copy wholesale.

“Each country has its own special features, size of territory, population, discipline, geographical conditions, culture, cultural economy, community economy, physical capability and others which should be taken into consideration,” he said in a local television live telecast from Bogor Presidential Palace.

Lately, many parties comprising political leaders, provincial governments, academicians, community activists and netizens have demanded the central government to enforce a lockdown or movement control order between provinces to curb the spread of the virus.  

The Indonesian government has now stepped up the dissemination of information and campaign on social distancing, hygiene and health care to raise the awareness of the people to jointly prevent the virus from spreading.

Since March 16, the government has also ordered in stages the closure of schools, places of worship, and tourist centres and banned foreign visitors from entering the country while locals are prohibited from leaving the country as well as instruction to work from home for non-critical sectors.

Indonesian government spokesman for Covid-19 matters, Achmad Yuriato said 14 more deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours.

“From noon yesterday to noon today, 14 more deaths occurred bringing the total number of fatalities to 136 cases while the total number of positive cases now stands at 1,528 cases,” he said. — Bernama

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