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January 7, 2021, 04.38 AM

JAKARTA, – Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has raised the possibility of beginning 2021 with a nationwide lockdown, as the number of Covid-19 cases more than doubled during the last two months of 2020.

Speaking during a meeting with his cabinet and governors on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Jokowi urged the officials to redouble efforts to contain the pandemic.

“[Covid-19 cases surged] as public compliance with health protocols such as wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing declined,” the head of state said.

“I urge the Covid-19 Task Force to communicate health protocols more effectively through television and other media.” Jokowi urged the public not to become complacent.

Also read: Mass Covid-19 Vaccinations Must Be Done Less Than 12 Months, Jokowi Tells

"Cities like London, Tokyo and Bangkok are already in lockdown. The former is more drastic, as the rest of Great Britain is also locked down,” he noted.

“In November there were 54 thousand cases [across Indonesia], which more than doubled to 110 thousand in December. The public should be informed of this development so as to comply with health protocols.”

Jokowi’s warning comes as the government is set to impose tight social distancing in Java and Bali between January 11 to January 25.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto announced the imposition of the policy, after the number of weekly cases surged from 48,434 in December 2020 to 51,986 in January 2021.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartanto at the ministrys office,  (15/12/2020)DOK. YouTube Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartanto at the ministrys office, (15/12/2020)

Also read: 40 Million Indonesians to Receive First Covid-19 Vaccinations

“We decided to impose tight social distancing [in Java and Bali], as both provinces met all four requirements for the policy. These include occupancy rates of more than 70 percent occupancy rates in Jakarta, Banten and West Java for the ICU and isolation wards,” said Airlangga.

“The second criteria is the number of active cases, which is 14 percent higher than the national average, a death rate that is higher than the national average by three percent, and a recovery rate that is 14 percent less than the national average.”

Airlangga noted that offices and schools will work from home 75 percent of the time, while those sectors dealing with public services are 100 percent open. “Shopping centers should open until 7 pm, while eateries can only seat 35 percent of diners,” he said.

“On the other hand, construction sites will be 100 percent open, while houses of worship can only be filled to 50 percent capacity. Hours for public transport will be determined, while public or cultural events will not be allowed until further notice.

(Writers : Dian Erika Nugraheny, Mutia Fauzia | Editors: Dani Prabowo, Bambang P. Jatmiko)


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