A man rides a motocycle inside a neighborhood in Tambora, West Jakarta, on April 1. The neighborhood has announced a self-imposed lockdown amid Covid-19 fears. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia's Covid-19 Cases Hit 2,000 with 191 Deaths


APRIL 04, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia reported 106 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours on Saturday, bringing the country’s total to 2,092. Ten patients died in the same period, leading to the total death toll of 191. 

Daily recoveries began to outnumber deaths with 16 patients being allowed to return home on Saturday, but accumulatively only 150 Covid-19 patients have recovered.

“We believe that these 150 people have developed immune system against Covid-19 after recovering from it,” the government’s Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said in a video conference in Jakarta.

Achmad said the task force has conducted 7,896 tests in 120 cities and districts across the country to detect more cases.

“We have learned from the recent tests that many new cases involved asymptomatic people,” he said, adding that this fact poses another danger of silent carriers among the community.

The best way to slow down the spread of coronavirus is to strictly observe physical distancing as daily new cases have been growing by three digits over the past week.

"Stop traveling now, either to your hometowns or other cities, as it may increase the chance of transmissions. The best way to be safe is to remain at home,” Achmad said.

"The government instruction is very clear: it’s safer to stay at home. You are asked to work and study from home, also to pray at home. We must protect the elderly, don’t let them contract the disease because they are more vulnerable from the severe impacts than young people with a better immune system," he said.

Stricter Measures

The National Police vowed to enforce restrictions on travels and public gatherings and may use coercive means if necessary.
“The police have been ordered to take measures. We will use the humane way and ask politely for any public gatherings to disperse themselves,” National Police operational deputy Insp. Gen. Herry Rudolf Nahak said in the same conference.

“But when this doesn’t work, we will take stern measures for forcibly disperse the gatherings,” he said.

The police also ask Jakarta residents to refrain from traveling to their hometowns during the Idul Fitri holydays in late May.

“We want everyone to understand that people movement from Jakarta to other places will potentially speed up the spread of the virus to other districts,” he said.

The government said at least 15 million people have planned to depart Greater Jakarta, home to more than 60 percent of confirmed Covid-19 cases, before and during the Idul Ftri, the biggest holiday for Indonesian Muslims.

The Jakarta Police arrested 18 people on Friday night for ignoring physical distancing policy, during a joint patrol with soldiers.

All the suspects were released after a questioning but police said the legal proceedings will continue. 

They were arrested in separate operations on Jalan Bendungan Hilir and Jalan Sabang in Central Jakarta.

“We have asked them to disperse, three times, but to no avail. So we took them to the Jakarta Police headquarters for a questioning,” Jakarta Police spokesman Senior Comr. Yusri Yunus said.

The suspects could face a maximum sentence of one year in prison for resisting law enforcement officers and violating the health quarantine law.

One of the suspects is a café owner who continued to receive customers.

Yusri said police considered asking the city government to revoke the café’s permit.

"We have reminded him to serve take-away orders only and to refuse on-premise dining. This is one of the ways to break the cycle of the virus. We are enforcing the law and we will not stop doing this, because public safety is at stake,” Yusri said.