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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 under control in Jakarta, Anies claims amid spike in new cases

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 31, 2020   /   03:42 pm
COVID-19 under control in Jakarta, Anies claims amid spike in new cases The writing is on the wall: People wait outside the Jami’ At-Tarbiyah Mosque in Ceger, East Jakarta, prior to Friday prayers, with a mural in the background noting the importance of complying with COVID-19 protocols by wearing a mask, washing one’s hands and maintaining physical distance from others. (JP/P.J. Leo)

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has claimed that the spread of COVID-19 in the capital city is under control despite a recent record spike in new confirmed cases, arguing that increased testing has contributed to the increase.

“Even though the number of new confirmed cases is rising, the number of active cases has decreased and the fatality rate is low, that means the situation is relatively under control,” he said in a virtual discussion broadcast YouTube on Monday.

Anies explained that in the past week, the number of active cases in the capital city had decreased significantly.

Jakarta recorded 1,114 new cases on Sunday, the highest daily spike so far, as the capital city returned to being the epicenter of the outbreak in Indonesia, surpassing East Java.

As of Sunday, Jakarta had 7,960 active cases from a total of 39,280 confirmed cases. Anies explained that active cases were determined by subtracting the number recoveries and fatalities from the number of total cases.

Read also: ‘Chaotic’: Epidemiologists concerned about healthcare crisis after recent surge in COVID-19 cases

With 30,134 people having recovered, the capital city has recorded a recovery rate of 76.7 percent, slightly above the national average of 72.2 percent, he added.

Anies also said that Jakarta had a lower case fatality rate than the national and global averages. Jakarta reported 14 fatalities on Sunday, bringing the city's total deaths to 1,186.

"Jakarta's case fatality rate is 3 percent, lower than the global average of 4.3 percent and the national average of 3.4 percent," Anies said. "Without Jakarta, Indonesia has a fatality rate of 4.7 percent."

He claimed the increase in confirmed cases in Jakarta was a result of increased testing.

"In the past week, we conducted around 40,000 to 50,000 tests, four times the standard set by the World Health Organization [WHO]. On Sunday, 43 percent of COVID-19 tests nationwide were conducted in Jakarta" Anies said. 

"As a consequence, the number of new cases increased," he said.

Read also: Governor Anies mulls pulling emergency brake as COVID-19 cases surge in Jakarta

Anies continued that the massive testing had helped Jakarta to lower its fatality rate, as authorities could find carriers earlier and give them treatment before their condition worsened.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the administration said that most of the new infections were suspected to have occurred during the recent long weekends for Independence Day public holidays from Aug. 15 to 17 and Islamic New Year from Aug. 20 to 23.

Anies asserted that it was of high importance to remain disciplined in following health protocols to help curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory illness.

"The habits of wearing masks, maintaining safe physical distance and washing hands frequently should become new cultural norms," he said.

The proper use of masks, he explained, was also very important to minimize the risk of transmission.

"A lot of people wear masks, but they remove them after arriving at their offices or when talking to coworkers. In theory, this would result in a higher risk of transmission," the governor said.