WORLD Indonesia extends emergency restrictions to fight second wave of COVID-19

WORLD

Indonesia extends emergency restrictions to fight second wave of COVID-19

Xinhua

22:13, July 20, 2021

JAKARTA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government has decided to extend the emergency community activity restrictions, known locally as PPKM Darurat, to July 25 as the country is still fighting the second wave of COVID-19.

Police man a checkpoint as motorists cross the Suramadu bridge from Surabaya to Madura island on July 19, 2021, as many return to their hometowns for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha despite a surge in coronavirus infections in the country. (File photo: AFP)

The emergency restrictions, which include a ban on dine-in services at restaurants and mandates to work from home for workers in nonessential sectors, were initially implemented on the country's most populated Island of Java and the resort Island of Bali from July 3 to July 20. The restrictions were later expanded to 15 other regions that saw surges in new cases of COVID-19.

At a virtual press conference on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo said that the government had decided to extend the policy for a week and would relax it on July 26 if cases drop.

"If the trend of cases continues to decline, then on July 26, 2021, the government will open it in stages," he said.

President Widodo also said that the government will continue to distribute social and financial assistance to those who deserve them amid the pandemic situation.

The Indonesian Health Ministry reported Tuesday that the COVID-19 cases in the country rose by 38,325 within one day to 2.95 million. Meanwhile, the death toll added by 1,280 to 76,200.

The pandemic has spread to all the country's 34 provinces and the more transmissible virus Delta variant has contributed to the surges in COVID-19 cases in some of the country's regions.

The Southeast Asian nation is accelerating its massive vaccination program.

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