Jakarta considers tightening restrictions amid ‘alarming’ COVID-19 surge

Governor Anies Baswedan instructing law enforcement to step up vigilance for health protocols in Jakarta on June 13, 2021. Photo: Jakarta Provincial Government
Governor Anies Baswedan instructing law enforcement to step up vigilance for health protocols in Jakarta on June 13, 2021. Photo: Jakarta Provincial Government

Tight restrictions may soon return in Jakarta, Governor Anies Baswedan said, as the capital enters an “alarming phase” in its struggle against COVID-19.

In a press release issued yesterday, the governor announced fresh data signaling a surge in Jakarta in recent weeks, one of the most notable of which is the rise of the capital’s hospital occupancy rate from 45 percent last week to at 75 percent as of June 13.

“In the past few days we have seen exceptionally high COVID-19 case spikes. The data showed that in the week ending on June 6, the number of active cases was 11,500, and today (June 13) it’s 17,400. That’s a 50 percent increase in a week,” Anies said.

The governor then called on city authorities to step up health protocols vigilance.

“The capital is in need of extra attention. If this condition veers out of control, we will enter an alarming phase, and if that happens we will have to take drastic measures like in September and February,” referring to periods of tightened restrictions on public activities in the capital amid high infection rates.

Jakarta, as well as many other parts of Indonesia, are seeing increasing COVID-19 infection rates in the month since the Eid holiday. The capital’s Wisma Atlet COVID-19 isolation center — often used as a gauge to measure how medical facilities in Jakarta are faring during the pandemic — recently added 2,000 beds, bringing the capacity up to nearly 8,000, with patients quickly filling up the facility.

Nationally, Indonesia recorded 9,868 new cases on June 13, the highest daily count since late February. The country’s active cases number has shot up to 113,388, which is alarming considering that it was under 100,000 just a week ago.

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