Jakarta extends anti-Covid measures
by Mathias Hariyadi

President Joko Widodo extends restrictions until August 2. Yesterday more than 38,000 new cases and over 1,000 deaths. Small traders are protesting.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Although there have been contained protests against the government in recent days, the Indonesia has decided to extend anti-Covid restrictions by another week, which will remain in force until August 2.

President Joko Widodo announced the decision yesterday, adding that mortality and intensive care unit occupancy rates have declined since authorities imposed restrictive measures on July 3, initially only on the islands of Java and Bali and then to all other provinces in the country.

"I thank all the Indonesian people for their understanding and support regarding the implementation of restrictions on social activities over the past 23 days," Widodo said.

However, the decision has crippled small businesses; demonstrations were held on July 24 against the restrictions adopted by the government.

Since the start of the pandemic, Indonesia has recorded 3.2 million cases, more than 38,000 yesterday alone. After a peak of 51,952 new cases recorded on July 17, the number of newly infected has begun to decline.

The island of Java recorded 70 percent of positives. Over the past 10 days, 1,000 per day have died; the president attributed the dramatic surge to the Delta variant. "We must remain cautious despite the recent improvement and remain on alert against the highly transmissible Delta variant," Widodo commented.

Under current restrictions, traditional markets are allowed to open while adhering to strict health protocols, while others can operate until 3 p.m. and with a 50 percent capacity limit. The other services can stay open until 8 or 9 pm depending on the type of activity. In the case of bars and clubs, visiting time must not exceed 20 minutes.