Indonesia expands emergency restrictions to 15 regions as country reports 38,124 new daily Covid-19 cases on Friday (July 9)

Graveyard workers carry the coffin of a Covid-19 coronavirus victim before the burial at the Keputih cemetery in Surabaya of East Java on Friday (July 9, 2021). - AFP

JAKARTA, July 9 (Xinhua): The Indonesian government has expanded its emergency restrictions (locally known as PPKM) to 15 regions outside Java and Bali from July 12 to 20, according to a senior minister on Friday.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the 15 regions were Tanjung Pinang, Singkawang, Padang Panjang, Bandar Lampung, Balikpapan, Pontianak, Manokwari, Sorong City, Batam, Bontang, Bukittinggi, Berau, Padang, Mataram and Medan.

"The bed occupancy rates (BORs) in these regions are more than 60 percent, while the number of cases increased significantly and vaccination achievements are less than 50 percent," Hartarto said at a virtual press conference.

Hartarto explained that on June 27, the number of active Covid-19 cases outside Java and Bali was recorded at 50,513, but it jumped to 82,711 cases on Thuesday.

Similarly, BORs in these regions have increased, particularly in Lampung (82 percent), East Kalimantan (80 percent), West Papua (79 percent), Riau Islands (77 percent), West Kalimantan (68 percent) and West Sumatra (67 percent).

The achievement of vaccination of more than 50 percent outside Java and Bali only occurred in Batam, Tanjung Pinang, Bintan and Natuna all in Riau Islands province.

As in Java and Bali, the emergency restrictions in these 15 regions required all employees to work from homes, except for those working in the essential and critical sectors such as in the fields of banking and energy.

Schools are conducted online, worship activities are carried out in homes, and shopping centers except pharmacies are only allowed to operate with a maximum of 50 percent of visitor capacity until 8:00 p.m. local time.

The country has been implementing emergency restrictions in all provinces in Java and Bali from July 3 to 20, as the number of COVID-19 cases has been soaring after a long Eid al-Fitr holiday and the entry of the more contagious Delta variant.

As of Friday, Indonesia recorded 38,124 new daily COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 2,455,912. The total number of recoveries was recorded at 2,023,548 and deaths at 64,631. - Xinhua
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