Jakarta returns to lockdown amidst Covid-19 spike

(NST) – Ahead of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) being re-imposed on Monday in Indonesia’s capital city, governor Anies Baswedan reminded residents that using face masks is an effective way to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

He asserted that while wearing the protective gear may be uncomfortable and irritating, it is far better than catching the virus.

Anies said this during a face mask distribution ceremony at the Metro Jaya police headquarters, according to Tempo.co.

The event, co-organised by the National Police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and the capital administration, was part of a nationwide face mask campaign in preparation for the 2020 regional head elections.

“Wearing a face mask can be uncomfortable, but it is far more uncomfortable to be contracting Covid-19,” Anies said at the event on Sept 10.

He encouraged the people, especially high-profile figures, to adhere to the government’s health protocols.

“This (face mask) campaign must be supported and echoed, it needs a personality that is publicly revered to send that message,” said Anies.

The decision to re-impose PSBB in Jakarta, due to a hike in Covid-19 cases, was met with objections from several ministers who expressed concern over the impact on economic recovery.

Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang were among those who said it would affect the country’s manufacturing industry, especially if other provinces follow suit.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar too called for industrial sectors that are able to enforce health protocols to be allowed to remain operating.

Also, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto cautioned about disrupting the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if essential logistics are impacted.