Jakarta extends state of emergency after surge in coronavirus cases

A man wearing a protective face mask sits on the chair at an empty commuter train after Jakarta begins a two-week emergency period in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 28, 2020. REUTERS

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s capital Jakarta announced a two-week extension of its state of emergency following the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, its governor said on Saturday.

Anies Baswedan told reporters on a video conference call that the state of emergency, imposed on March 20 to try to slow the spread of the virus in Southeast Asia’s biggest city, would be extended until April 19.

“We’re preparing ways to anticipate all possibilities that could happen in the city,” Baswedan said.

“We implore people of Jakarta to not leave Jakarta, especially for their home towns.”

Indonesia’s chief security minister Mahfud MD said on Friday that the government was considering a plan to ban “mudik” – the tradition which sees millions of Indonesians leave towns and cities for their native villages at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May.

Indonesia confirmed 109 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, taking the total cases in the country to 1,155, a health ministry official said.

Achmad Yurianto, the ministry official, confirmed 15 additional deaths, bringing the total to 102.

According to government data, a total of 627 cases have been recorded in Jakarta and 62 people have died.

The airline AirAsia Indonesia (CMPP.JK) said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday that it would suspend flights starting on April 1. Domestic flights are due to resume on April 21 and international flights to restart on May 17.