PPKM: Greater Jakarta Area elevated to Level 3 amid Omicron wave

A scene from Jakarta. Photo: Pixabay
A scene from Jakarta. Photo: Pixabay

Jakarta and its satellite cities have returned from Level 2 to Level 3 of the 4-tiered Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) protocol amid a wave of COVID-19 infections dominated by the Omicron variant.

In a press conference today, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who oversees the country’s COVID-19 handling, said the Greater Jakarta Area (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) is under Level 3 PPKM starting today.

However, Level 3 PPKM now is unlike the one we had during the deadly wave of the Delta variant in mid-2021. Given Omicron’s relatively less devastating impact on patients, Luhut said restrictions in the current iteration are more geared towards protecting the elderly, immunocompromised, and the unvaccinated.

These are the main points contained in Level 3 PPKM:

  • Malls and supermarkets may open to 60 percent capacity until 9pm
  • Children under 12 are allowed to enter malls as long as they’re at least partially vaccinated
  • Restaurants and cafés are allowed to operate at 60 percent capacity until 9pm
  • Cinemas are allowed to operate, and children under 12 are allowed to enter as long as they’re at least partially vaccinated
  • Houses of worship are allowed to open to 50 percent capacity

Other regions that have been upgraded to Level 3 PPKM are Yogyakarta, Bali, and Bandung.

Indonesia is seeing a huge surge in cases in January and February, driven by the Omicron variant. Yesterday, the country recorded 36,057 new cases — the highest so far in 2022. Last week, 93.7 percent of new cases were recorded on the islands of Java and Bali. While the daily infection rates rival those from the mid-2021 devastating Delta wave, the fatality rate now, which is in the double digits daily, is much smaller compared to more than 1,000 deaths per day at last year’s peak.

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