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Jakarta Post

Danger in crowds

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 14 2020   /  01:00 am
A vendor sells face design masks at a traditional market to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Jakarta, Indonesia June 23, 2020. Picture taken June 23, 2020 (REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

It is indeed a battle the country can hardly win. Even though the enforcement of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) has been far from consistent, the government and local administrations have marched into reopening public life to prevent further economic losses. And that is proving to be a failure, even for Jakarta, which had successfully curbed virus transmission for weeks. The capital’s dense population and poor implementation of health protocol have become major hurdles for the reopening. Jakarta, which had been hardest hit by the outbreak, managed to slow the virus reproduction rate, leading to its decision last month to gradually reopen offices and business centers. But a surge in cases over the past week has shown that the capital has yet to get a grip on the virus, and crowds caused by the reopening may have contributed to the infection spike. As of Monday, Jaka...