Micro-lockdowns tightened

Empty streets: A motorcyclist riding past a village in Jakarta that was locked down after some of its residents were exposed to Covid-19. — AFP

FOLLOWING mounting public pressure to impose tougher measures, the government has finally announced the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions to prevent the collapse of the country’s healthcare system amid the recent case surge.

Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto announced on Monday the tightening of the micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM Mikro) after a meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“The tightened restrictions will take effect for two weeks starting tomorrow until July 5. This will be made official in a Home Ministry instruction, ” Airlangga said during Monday’s press briefing.

Under the new provisions, the offices of government bodies, regional administrations and the private sector in Covid-19 red zones need to limit capacity to 25% and allow the remaining employees to work from home.

Offices in non-red zones are allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

Schools in red zones are required to call off in-class learning plans, as all educational activities must be carried out online or long-distance.

Similarly, activities in places of worship and other public areas that potentially create crowding have been banned “until the situation improves, ” Airlangga said.

On the other hand, malls and restaurants in red zones are allowed to operate at 25% capacity and serve orders, including delivery and takeaway orders, until 8pm.

Essential services such as supermarkets, drugstores and basic public utilities will remain in operation under stricter health protocols and revised operational hours.

Airlangga said public transportation would also operate with limited capacity and operational hours.

Since Thursday, health authorities have reported daily record rises in confirmed cases.

The peak was recorded on Monday with 14, 546 new cases — the highest daily rise since the pandemic hit the country last year.

Indonesia also passed the two million Covid-19 cases mark on the same day. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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