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Indonesia Highlights: Indonesia Extends Enforced Restriction of Community Activities or PPKM | Covid-19 Task Force Express Concerns Over Spread of B.1.1.7 Strain | Mount Merapi Crater Increased in Hei

March 6, 2021, 07.11 AM

JAKARTA, – The government has decided to carry on with micro-scale Enforced Restriction of Community Activities [PPKM] until at least late March, as it has yet to make any meaningful progress against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indonesia’s Covid-19 Task Force voiced their concerns about the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus from Great Britain, after two migrant workers who contracted the strain in Saudi Arabia returned to Indonesia at the end of January.

And Mount Merapi’s crater increased in height by five meters, as lava flows, hot clouds and other signs of volcanic activity on the mountain has yet to abate. Read on for this and other news on Indonesia Highlights:

Illustration of Covid-19 in IndonesiaSHUTTERSTOCK Illustration of Covid-19 in Indonesia

Indonesia Extends Enforced Restriction of Community Activities or PPKM

The government has decided to extend micro-scale Enforced Restriction of Community Activities [PPKM] by nearly two weeks to late March, as Covid-19 continues to grip Indonesia more than a year after the pandemic was first detected in the country.

“Micro-scale PPKM will be extended from March 9 to March 22, 2021,” said Minister for Home Affairs Instruction No. 5/2021, which laid out the policy.

“The policy will go into effect in the provinces of Jakarta, West Java, Banten, Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, North Sumatra, East Kalimantan, and South Sulawesi,”

However, the enforcement of micro-scale PPKM is still more relaxed than at the beginning of the year. “Micro-scale PPKM applies to those areas down to the neighborhood or RT level which managed to control the number [Covid-19 cases],” it went on.

“Micro-scale PPKM, businesses are required to split their workforce between those working from home [WFH] and those going to the office [WFO]. Health protocols will be heightened for those working from the office.”

The document noted that public services and construction work “will be operating at 100 percent capacity with increased health protocols.”

As for shopping centers, their opening hours approached pre-normal times, as they will close at 9 pm. However, “dining in restaurants are allowed, though at 50 percent capacity, while deliveries and takeaways are permitted within the restaurant’s opening hours.”

A similar step will be applied for houses of worship, which are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. But the strictures remain in place for school, as classes will be held online instead of face-to-face.

The micro-scale PPKM is the second of its kind, after the first phase of this policy is applied in 123 cities and regencies in Java and Bali from February 23 to March 8.

The government chose this measure, as previous policies such as Large-Scale Social Distancing failed to reduce Covid-19 numbers or contain the pandemic.



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