Jakarta to reimpose partial lockdown as virus cases surge

Residents go on a weekend bicycle ride in Jakarta on September 5, 2020, as the number of Covid-19 infections continue to set new daily record with the nationwide total approaching the 200,000 mark. (Photo by GOH CHAI HIN / AFP)


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia’s capital Jakarta plans to re-impose a partial lockdown as early as Monday over fears that surging coronavirus cases could “collapse” its under-pressure hospitals, the sprawling city’s governor said.

The megacity of some 30 million will see many office buildings and large mosques closed along with restaurants and other entertainment venues, while public transport hours will also be restricted.

The announcement comes three months after an earlier lockdown was lifted, sending infection rates soaring.

“The Jakarta administration has decided to pull the emergency brake and go back to large-scale restrictions,” governor Anies Baswedan said late Wednesday.

Without fresh moves to contain virus cases, the capital’s hospitals could be overrun as early as next week, he said.

“After that, Jakarta’s health facilities would collapse,” he added.

Indonesia’s composite stock index briefly plunged more than four percent Thursday in response to the announcement.

Jakarta had by Wednesday recorded just under 50,000 confirmed cases — around a quarter of the national total — as well as more than 1,300 deaths.

But with some of the world’s lowest testing rates, the spread of the disease is widely believed to be much greater than official figures suggest.

© Agence France-Presse