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Asia Minute: Jakarta Tightens Restrictions

AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim
A medic walks at Patriot Candrabhaga stadium to make one of the rooms at the stadium a quarantine facility for people showing symptoms of the COVID-19 amid the new coronavirus outbreak in Bekasi on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2

As Oahu settles into another two weeks of a stay-at-home order, some other locations around the Pacific are putting new restrictions on movement. And that includes the capital city of the largest economy in Southeast Asia.

Government leaders in Jakarta are tightening the rules again when it comes to social restrictions. The city’s governor says those in “non-essential” businesses will have to work from home starting next Monday — and that “activities in the offices must stop for now.”

He also told residents “Do not leave home if it’s not essential. Do not leave Jakarta if there is no urgent purpose.”

Restaurants and cafes will only be open for takeout, and new rules will hit everything from large gatherings to public transit.

Indonesia has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, and the capital city of 10 million has roughly a quarter of the cases — reporting more than a thousand new ones on Wednesday alone. Jakarta had gradually eased some restrictions starting in early June, but as case numbers have climbed, hospital capacity has become more of a concern.

City health officials say occupancy rates at intensive care units have now hit 83% and authorities are recruiting more private hospitals to treat coronavirus patients.

The governor told reporters “faced with the emergency situation, Jakarta doesn’t have any choice other than pulling the emergency brake as soon as possible.”

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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