Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan. (Beritasatu Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

Jakarta Cancels Holiday Season amid Record-Breaking Covid Cases 

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO

DECEMBER 20, 2020

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has issued a circular calling city departments and municipally-owned businesses to shorten year-end holidays and prevent their employees from travelling as newly coronavirus cases are spiking dramatically.

The circular was issued on Saturday when the capital city reported the highest single-day rise of cases since the outbreak began.

It limits working hours in shopping malls and theaters to 07.00 p.m. on Dec. 24 - 27 and on Dec. 31 - Jan. 3 and imposes a cap on the number of visitors at 50 percent of capacity.

Jakarta, home to around 25 percent of nationwide coronavirus cases, saw resurgence in new infections in mid-November and has since reported uncontrollable surge.

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It registered 1,899 new cases on Saturday, beating the previous high of 1,690 reported only two days earlier. The capital has recorded a total of 161,519 cases since the outbreak started, more than any other province. It has been averaging nearly 1,300 cases since the beginning of the month.

Not even the gubernatorial office is immune to the virus. City Government Secretary Saefullah died from coronavirus in September while Anies and Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria have recently completed their quarantine period after testing positive for the virus.

Jakarta has the second-highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, totaling 3,053 as of Saturday.

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Indonesia is the worst-affected country in Southeast Asia with a total of 657,948 cases and 16,659 deaths. The country recorded 7,751 cases on Saturday, the second-highest one-day rise since a record 8,369 cases on Dec. 3.

Of the total cases, around 58 percent have occurred in the country’s four most populous provinces including Jakarta, East Java, West Java and Central Java.

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East and West Java have already recorded more cases month to date than their monthly total in November, while Central Java also reported a surge in newly cases.

The daily number of Covid deaths in East Java has been increasing significantly, including another 48 on Saturday to take its total death toll to 5,150.

Other hotspots like South Sulawesi, Riau and East Kalimantan saw a second wave of infections while Banten and Central Kalimantan have been emerging as new hotspots since late last month.

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The virus has killed 100 or more people every day for 28 consecutive days, the deadliest period in the Indonesian outbreak since the first casualty was confirmed on March 11.

At least 2,700 people have died from the virus since Dec. 1 in a grim prospect that the country is heading to the deadliest month of the outbreak since a monthly record of 3,323 deaths in September.

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