Jakarta / Kuala Lumpur: Indonesian capital Anies Baswedan announced on Friday that it had entered a state of emergency related to a coronavirus outbreak. The death toll in the country rose to 18, the highest in Southeast Asia, for two weeks.
Indonesia has so far confirmed 369 cases of coronavirus and 32 deaths, while Jakarta, a city of 10 million inhabitants, has only 215 infections and 18 deaths.
The emergency declaration coincides with the rapid increase in infections in Southeast Asia. Neighboring Malaysia said on Friday that the coronavirus infection has increased to 1,030 people, the highest in the region and the fourth in Asia, saying the military would help strengthen operational control.
Governor Baswedan said public places like bars, spas and cinemas will be closed on Mondays and public transport will be limited. He urged the company to allow employees to work from home.
“Our medical teams in Jakarta are dealing with a lot of people. Our response speed is limited because the number of hospitals and personnel is not in line with the increase in the number of cases.”
Jakarta suspended two weeks of religious activities earlier this week, such as Friday Islamic prayers and Christian worship.
President Joko Widodo said earlier Friday that he would use “all state power” to respond to the outbreak.
As the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia is criticized by medical personnel for its slow start to testing in the archipelago that is wider than the continental United States. It reported 60 new cases on Friday.
Together with 130 new cases in Malaysia and 50 new cases in Thailand, the total number of infections in Southeast Asia exceeds 2500.