An aerial view of a densely populated area in Jakarta taken on July 27, 2020. (B1 Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

Jakarta is a High-Risk Zone, Says Covid-19 Task Force


JULY 29, 2020

Jakarta. All five municipalities in Jakarta have been considered as “red zone”, the terms for an area where coronavirus is still raging on, the National Covid-19 Task Force said on Tuesday.

Kepulauan Seribu district, an archipelago of islands off Jakarta’s northern coasts, has also been classified as a “medium risk” zone, task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said in Jakarta.


He said the city government and all residents should take this latest development “very seriously” in order to mitigate the health crisis.

“Only Central Jakarta and West Jakarta were classified as the red zones last week, but today all five municipalities are high-risk zones,” added Wiku, an adjunct professor of infectious disease and global health at Tufts University.

“Back in June, Kepulauan Seribu was the only Jakarta area unaffected by the outbreak, but now it has been regarded as a medium-risk zone,” he said.

The growth of new cases in the national capital has been gaining pace in the past week, when it added 2,679 confirmed cases of the virus. The figure was a significant increase from the 1,880 cases registered in the previous week, he said.

Jakarta has recorded nearly 20,000 cases since the outbreak, with Wiku saying 80 percent of them were people between 18 and 59 years old. 

Furthermore, of the total 784 Covid-19 deaths in the capital, 80 percent were patients above the age of 45, he said.

“The virus has been spreading fast among people in their productive age, but the death toll has been dominated by older people,” Wiku said.

By gender, male Covid-19 patients accounted for 52.3 percent of cases and 61.26 percent of the death toll in Jakarta, he said.

However, Wiku noted that surging cases in Jakarta were attributable to the aggressive testing, for which he expressed admiration.

“Jakarta has surpassed the World Health Organization requirement on diagnostic tests, which result in a considerable amount of confirmed cases. Other regions in Indonesia should follow Jakarta in ramping up testing to better understand the real picture,” he said.

Typical Problem

Jakarta has another issue typical of its national capital status. New clusters of infection have been found at government and business premises, including ministerial compounds and head offices of big corporations.

These new clusters have become the fifth biggest source of Covid-19 cases in the last seven weeks, Jakarta Health Department Head Widyastuti said on Tuesday.

At least 440 new cases have been identified at government and business premises during the period, she said. 

According to Health Department data, state-run mining company Antam has reported 68 cases of the virus from its head office in Jakarta, the highest number in this category.

The Finance Ministry was at a distant second with 25 cases in its headquarters. Jakarta’s Food, Maritime and Agriculture Security Office (KPKP) added 23 cases, followed by the Education Ministry office with 22 cases.

An aerial view of Jakarta taken on July 27, 2020. (B1 Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)
An aerial view of office buildings in Jakarta taken on July 27, 2020. (B1 Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

The vast majority of cases have come from hospitals, which contributed more than 5,400 infection cases in Jakarta since June 4. 

“Cases identified at hospitals account for 46.2 percent of the total cases during the period. People with symptoms have visited hospitals, and they later tested positive for the virus,” Widyastuti said in a video conference.

Communal transmission was the second largest source of coronavirus cases in Jakarta, with more than 4,100 cases detected during contact tracing at residential areas by medical workers.

The third source of cases was returning cruise ship crew members and migrant workers who had to transit in Jakarta. This is another problem unseen in most provinces. Nearly 750 migrant workers and ship crew members have tested positive for the virus while transiting in Jakarta.

Traditional markets, plenty of them in Jakarta, have contributed 547 cases.

Other sources of cases include religious events, nursing homes and prisons.

According to the Health Department, the city has added 11,838 Covid-19 cases between June 4 and July 26.