JAKARTA • Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has announced a two-week extension of its state of emergency following a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases.
Mr Anies Baswedan told reporters during a video conference yesterday that the state of emergency, imposed on March 20 to try to slow the spread of the virus in South-east Asia’s largest city, would be extended until April 19.
“We’re preparing ways to anticipate all possibilities that could happen in the city,” Mr Anies said. “We implore people of Jakarta to not leave Jakarta, especially for their home towns.”
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD had said on Friday that the government was considering a plan to ban “mudik” – the tradition which sees millions of Indonesians leave towns and cities for their native villages at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which this year takes place in May.
Indonesia confirmed 109 new coronavirus infections yesterday, taking the total cases in the country to 1,155, a health ministry official said.
Mr Achmad Yurianto, the ministry official, confirmed 15 additional deaths, bringing the total to 102. Indonesia has the highest number of fatalities from the coronavirus in South-east Asia.
According to government data, Jakarta has recorded a total of 627 cases, and 62 people have died.
Indonesia, which has a population of more than 260 million, has only conducted 4,336 tests for the virus as of last Friday, a fraction of those carried out by many other nations.
One model by infectious disease experts suggests there are as many as 50,000 cases.
The national government looks set to issue a regulation allowing regional governments to impose a strict quarantine on their territory, after some local governments took matters into their own hands.
The mayor of Tegal, a city in Central Java, last week closed 49 access points and shut public spaces until July 30, after a local returned from Abu Dhabi with the coronavirus.
DON’T LEAVE JAKARTA
We’re preparing ways to anticipate all possibilities that could happen in the city. We implore people of Jakarta to not leave Jakarta, especially for their home towns.
JAKARTA GOVERNOR ANIES BASWEDAN
Meanwhile, Papua last Thursday closed its airports, sea ports and land borders for 14 days in an attempt to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Mr Mahfud told reporters on Friday that Jakarta would now issue a regulation allowing regional governments to impose a strict quarantine on their territory.
“It will regulate when regional areas can declare movement limitation,” he said.
Indonesia’s government has previously been reluctant to embrace the stricter containment strategies of other nations, and President Joko Widodo’s policy has been to encourage social distancing while not imposing tighter restrictions on movement.
Meanwhile, AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement on its website yesterday that it would suspend flights starting from Wednesday.
Domestic flights are due to resume on April 21 and international flights on May 17.