Indonesia announces emergency curbs in Java, Bali amid COVID-19 surge


Indonesian authorities have announced “emergency restrictions” on the archipelago’s most populous island of Java and the tourist island of Bali.

This comes as a second wave of COVID-19 infections drives rates of hospitalisation and deaths to record highs.

In a televised address on Thursday, President Joko Widodo said the measures will begin on Saturday and last until July 20.

“This situation requires us to take more decisive steps so that we can together stem the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

The details of the measures will be announced later in the day, he added.

A government document said the new restrictions aim to cut daily cases to below 10,000, and will include work-at-home orders for all non-essential sectors and the continued closure of schools and universities.

The document also said public amenities like beaches, parks, tourist attractions and places of worship must close, while restaurants can offer only take away or delivery services. However,  constructions sites can continue operating as normal.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s worst-hit nation with new cases topping 21,000 every day. The surge has overwhelmed hospitals and resulted in a shortage of oxygen in the capital, Jakarta.

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