Indonesia is easing restrictions gradually as cases fall.


Indonesia, where cases of the coronavirus surged last month, will gradually ease restrictions in the capital, Jakarta, and elsewhere as reports of new cases decline.

Restaurants, malls and places of worship are set to reopen on Tuesday on the densely populated island of Java, which includes Jakarta and has a population of about 140 million, and Bali, a popular resort island, and other regions.

Places of worship and restaurants will be allowed to operate at 25 percent of their capacity, while shopping centers can stay open until 8 p.m. at up to 50 percent of their capacity, said President Joko Widodo.

In Indonesia’s most recent outbreak, cases peaked in mid-July but have since continued to fall, Mr. Widodo said. They are now down by 78 percent, he said at a virtual news briefing on Monday, adding that there were now more people recovering from the virus than were being diagnosed with it.

But while the government’s official tally shows a drop in cases, the World Health Organization warned that the data might be inaccurate because the rate of testing had also slowed.

“Urgent action is needed to address the continuing surge of cases,” the health body said in a statement released last week, noting continued outbreaks in parts of the country.

On average, more than 1,000 people in Indonesia continue to die daily from the virus, down from around 1,500 a day early in August. So far, just 12 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.

Mr. Widodo acknowledged that Indonesia had to be on the alert for signs of outbreaks.

“Several countries are currently experiencing the third wave with significant addition of cases,” he said. “Therefore, we must remain vigilant.”

Source : Nytimes