World

Jakarta to reinstate curbs as coronavirus cases, deaths increase

Indonesian capital, which has over 48,000 infectionss, will introduce restrictions in stages from Sept 14

JAKARTA: The Indonesian capital will reinstate wide-scale social restrictions as coronavirus cases and deaths increase and hospitals fill up, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said yesterday.

The city has a total of 48,811 cases and 1,330 deaths so far.

Jakarta will introduce the restrictions again "as soon as possible", Mr Anies told a virtual press briefing, adding that beds in intensive care units will be full as soon as Sept 15 even if 20 per cent more beds are added.

The social restrictions will be introduced in stages, and starting on Sept 14 non-essential work must be done from home.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has established a national team to accelerate the development of a possible Covid-19 vaccine.

Indonesia hopes to begin producing a locally developed Covid-19 candidate vaccine called Merah-Putih (Red and White) - developed by a national consortium by the middle of 2021.

The country reported 3,307 cases yesterday, bringing its total to 203,342.

There were also 106 deaths, taking the total number to 8,336, the highest in South-east Asia.

Thailand said yesterday it had tested nearly 600 people potentially exposed to the country's first domestic coronavirus case in over three months, but has so far found no new infections.

The man, 37, had worked as a nightclub DJ at three different venues in Bangkok in the two weeks before he tested positive on arrival in prison, following his recent conviction for a drugs-related offence.

Individuals deemed at risk across 12 venues including the court where he appeared, nightclubs and supermarkets were tracked down and 569 tests were administered, the Public Health Ministry said.

So far, all tests have come back negative and 32 individuals were awaiting results.

The authorities have asked 400 other individuals considered low-risk to self-quarantine for 14 days.

How the man became infected remains a mystery, with all of Thailand's recent cases, typically less than a handful each day, detected in state quarantine among people returning from abroad.

Thailand has reported a total of 3,447 confirmed infections and 58 fatalities and has relaxed internal restrictions.

Malaysia yesterday reported 24 cases, down from 100 the previous day. The country's death toll remains at 128.

The Health Ministry said it was concerned over the rise in cases among front-line workers, especially healthcare staff, the New Straits Times reported.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said it was worrying and added that investigations showed that many of the infections came from healthcare workers themselves.

He said: "... More than half of them who contracted Covid-19 have in turn infected their colleagues."

INDIA

In India, 89,706 new infections were reported yesterday, taking its total caseload to 4.3 million, data from the federal Health Ministry showed.

The South Asian nation has the highest number of coronavirus infections outside of the United States, reporting the largest single-day increases in cases every day for more than a month.

Its death rate has remained relatively low but is starting to show signs of rising, with more than 1,000 deaths reported daily for eight days straight.

The death toll in India now stands at 73,890, the Health Ministry said.  - REUTERS, THE JAKARTA POST/ANN

WORLD