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Jakarta Post

Jakarta extends transitional restrictions as COVID-19 rate on rise

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 14, 2020   /   12:13 pm
Jakarta extends transitional restrictions as COVID-19 rate on rise Good to be back: Jakartans take to the streets around the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle during Car Free Day on Sunday after the weekly event's suspension was lifted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (JP/Donny Fernando)

The nation’s capital has extended the transitional phase of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) a fourth time, for another two weeks starting Friday, as Jakarta's COVID-19 infection rate has shown no signs of slowing. 

“After taking into account all conditions, consulting with health experts and coordinating with Forkopimda [the Regional Leadership Communication Forum], we have decided to extend the transitional PSBB once again,” Governor Anies Baswedan said on Thursday.

Anies said the city would tighten control over activities that might generate crowds in public spaces, especially on weekends and during the celebration of the 75th Independence Day.

Car Free Day and public celebrations for Independence Day, especially competitions that could attract crowds, will be restricted.

Jakarta started the transitional phase on June 5 as it started to gradually relax restrictions in the hope of easing economic suffering, with businesses and offices reopening under new health protocols. 

The governor, however, had hinted at the possibility of “pulling the emergency brake” and reimposing restrictions it previously eased should the number of infections continue to soar.

Read also: Less fun and games as Greater Jakarta limits Independence Day events

On Thursday, Anies reported that the number confirmed cases had reached 27,863, with 981 deaths and 17,838 recoveries. 

He said Jakarta’s positive case rate --  the percentage of positive results from all tests -- had hit 8.7 percent in the past week, a rise from the 7.4 percent recorded in the previous week.

The latest weekly rate is above the figure recommended by the World Health Organization for relaxations, which is 5 percent or below.

Anies said 65 percent of 4,456 isolation beds and 67 percent of 483 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients were occupied, with occupancy rates ranging from 40 to 50 percent in July.

The Jakarta Public Order Agency recorded 64,036 violations against the mask-wearing provision from July 1 to Aug. 10.

“Through this [PSBB] extension, together with the police and the military, we will focus on enforcing the rules, especially the use of masks in public,” Anies said.