Indonesia extends the partial Lockdown of Covid-19 until July 25.
Jakarta: Indonesia is extending a partial lockdown through Sunday (July 25) as it battles a record spike in Covid-19 cases caused by the most infectious Delta variant.
Under emergency restrictions imposed on July 3 and set to expire on Tuesday, grocery stores and supermarkets on the islands of Java and Bali, which account for two-thirds of Covid-19 cases nationwide, have to limit customers at half capacity and close before 8 pm.
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Public places such as shopping malls, parks, and places of worship are closed, while restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery.
However, it widened the curbs as of July 12 to cover 15 regencies and cities outside the two main islands.
President Joko Widodo said that the decision to impose the strict restrictions was challenging for the government but that it was inevitable to curb the spread of Covid-19. He said it was necessary to ease the burden on hospitals to allow them to care for other critically ill patients.
Speaking on a live broadcast, he said: “After we imposed the emergency restrictions, the increase in new cases and the bed occupancy rate followed a downward trend.
At the same time, we continuously monitor and observe dynamics on the ground and listen to those affected by emergency restrictions.
Therefore, if the trend of decreasing cases continues, the government will gradually begin to relax (restrictions) as of July 26″.
The plan to ease restrictions includes allowing traditional markets that sell essential goods to open until 8 pm but at half capacity.
Traditional markets that sell other items can open until 3:00 pm, but also at half capacity.
Other small-scale businesses, such as street vendors, laundries, and workshops, may be open until 9:00 pm. Food stalls and the like located outdoors can serve customers until 9 pm, with a 30-minute limit for each customer.
President Widodo also called on all Indonesians to join together and work with the government to tackle the pandemic.
“This is a tough situation, but with our collective efforts, God willing, we will soon be liberated from Covid-19, and the social and economic activities of the public can return to normal,” he said.
Referring to an aid package announced last week, Widodo said the government would continue distributing social and financial aid to deserving citizens.
Indonesia became the new epicenter for Covid-19 in Asia last week after it surpassed India in daily cases. The surge in cases came as the Delta variant swept across the country shortly after Hari Raya Aidilfitri in May, when millions of people, ignoring official allegations, traveled across the vast archipelago.
The surge has overwhelmed hospitals, and drug supplies and oxygen supplies are running low.
On Sunday, the world’s fourth most populous nation of 270 million also surpassed Brazil in recording the most daily deaths from Covid-19, with 1,093 reported at noon.
This figure rose to a record 1,338 on Monday, as daily new infections fell to 34,257, the lowest in the past two weeks.
On Tuesday, 38,325 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2.95 million. The figures showed that 1,280 died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total deaths to 76,200.
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