Indonesia ‘emergency’ Covid-19 curbs to be effective July 2-20, says minister

A 34-year-old patient suffering from Covid-19 rests at a temporary tent outside the emergency ward of a government hospital in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, June 25, 2021. — Reuters pic
A 34-year-old patient suffering from Covid-19 rests at a temporary tent outside the emergency ward of a government hospital in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, June 25, 2021. — Reuters pic

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JAKARTA, July 1 — Indonesia will launch on Friday emergency measures aimed at controlling its worst coronavirus epidemic since the start of the pandemic, with the curbs due to run until July 20, a senior minister said.

The world’s fourth most populous country has reported a series of record daily Covid-19 cases over recent weeks, including 21,807 infections recorded on Wednesday.

Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on his Instagram account late on Wednesday that the health protocols would be applied using law enforcement. He did not provide details but a government document reviewed by Reuters said the measures will be applied on the islands of Java and Bali.

In a bid to halve the current daily cases to below 10,000, Indonesia is proposing tighter restrictions on movement and air travel, a ban on restaurant dining and closure of non-essential offices, according to the government document seen by Reuters.

The document, which were preliminary and not yet officially released, also contains proposals to close shopping malls.

Tighter restrictions are needed due to the spike in coronavirus cases, President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday, with the bed occupancy ratio at hospitals also up significantly.

Bed occupancy ratio was at 72 per cent nationally, he said, although some local authorities have reported rates far higher, including Jakarta.

The president also set a target to ramp up vaccinations in a bid to contain the outbreak, targetting one million doses per day in July and two million doses in August, up from around 200,000 to 300,000 a day recently. — Reuters

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