Jakarta. Governor Anies Baswedan took to Instagram on Thursday night to announce extension of the so-called transition period before Jakarta can fully reopen, only hours after the capital saw confirmed coronavirus cases reach a new high.
The city reported 760 new cases on Thursday, beating the previous daily record of 713 only a day earlier. With more than 36,200 cases, Jakarta is the worst-affected province in the Indonesian outbreak, leading East Java in the second place by more than 5,200 cases.
“The Jakarta Provincial Government has officially extended the transition period from the large-scale social restrictions, or PSBB, effective from August 28 to September 10,” Anies wrote.
Jakarta began to impose the large-scale social restrictions on April 10, but it relaxed the regulation on June 5 as it entered the so-called transition phase, under which non-essential businesses and worship places were allowed to reopen at reduced capacity.
Earlier this week, the city also gave the green light for cinemas to reopen.
His deputy Ahmad Riza Patria said separately the extension, the fifth time since mid-June, was decided because “transmission rate remains high”.
Ahmad said offices and other business premises will get extra attention during this period because their employees tend to ignore social distancing rule in a perceived safe environment.
“They feel safe and remove masks when they go around office mates they know well,” Ahmad said.
“But people get more disciplined in wearing masks inside buses or train carriages, where they are surrounded by strangers.”
The city government could start disciplinary measures from their own offices. At least seven high-level city officials -- from the head of the Department of Parks and Green Spaces to the chief executive of municipally-owned trading company Pasar Jaya -- have tested positive for the virus despite being asymptomatic, according to city government secretary Saefullah on Thursday.
“They have been self-quarantining and working from home since being confirmed of having the virus, of which they didn’t feel any symptoms,” Saefullah said.