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Authorities in the Indonesian capital reinstated a partial blockade of the coronavirus on Monday and vowed to strictly isolate anyone who tested positive for Covid-19 as infections rose in the metropolis.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said the city would resume large-scale social restrictions for two weeks starting Monday, calling it a necessary measure to prevent the health system from collapsing.
Non-core businesses are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, restaurants can only be used for road pick-up, and schools, parks and resorts have been ordered to close.
Anyone testing positive for Covid-19 – including asymptomatic patients – will have to undergo mandatory quarantine at government facilities, he said.
“If a person who was tested positive refused to be isolated in the designated institution, health workers and law enforcement will take them,” Baswedan told a news conference Sunday.
Jakarta first introduced coronavirus restrictions in early April, but began relaxing them in June.
Weeks later, however, the capital has seen a sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases.
Thousands of soldiers and police are being deployed to enforce restrictions that were often overturned.
However, regulations can be difficult to enforce.
“I will continue to work despite the large-scale restrictions,” said Taufik, who works at a grocery store.
“It’s a good policy, but I need to keep working every day because here I earn my income,” he told AFP.
Indonesia is the country hardest hit in Southeast Asia by the coronavirus, with 221,523 infections and 8,841 deaths.
As of Monday, Jakarta has reported more than 55,000 cases with nearly 1,500 deaths.
Covid-19 National task force chief Doni Monardo said 20 of the 67 Covid-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta had reported occupancy rates in their intensive care units at over 60 percent.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced that 15 hotels will be used to quarantine Covid-19 patients with mild or no symptoms.
Jakarta administrators have also converted part of a village of athletes built for international sporting events for asymptomatic patients to be quarantined.
“The point is to provide more places for self-isolation so that people do not need to quarantine at home with inadequate health standards,” Monardo said Monday.
In neighboring Bekasi, the local government has also turned a sports stadium into a quarantine facility for asymptomatic patients.
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