A health worker stops a motorist in Cirebon, West Java, on May 19, as travel restriction is imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Antara Photo/Nova Wahyudi)

Indonesia Reports 687 New Covid-19 Cases


MAY 28, 2020

Jakarta. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia totaled 24,538 on Thursday, 687 more than yesterday, as the country prepared to reopen several provinces including Jakarta.

The overall number of cases included 1,496 deaths and 6,240 recoveries.

East Java, the new epicenter of the country’s outbreak, saw 177 new cases, the highest among other provinces but 22 fewer than the previous day.

The province now has a total of 4,313 cases, second only to Jakarta's 7,001.

West Java is the third most affected province with 2,181 cases, followed by South Sulawesi with 1,427.

The National Covid-19 Task Force said 80 percent of Indonesia's 514 districts and cities have now reported confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The government has indicated it might soon reopen several provinces including Jakarta, the hardest hit by the outbreak.

The capital city's seven-day average of confirmed coronavirus cases has reached a plateau since late April.

At the start of the outbreak, Jakarta accounted for roughly 50 percent of the confirmed cases in Indonesia, but now it makes up only 28.5 percent.

According to the task force, hospital occupancy rate in the capital has been declining to below 50 percent in the past week.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto said on Wednesday that Aceh, Riau, North Kalimantan, Maluku, Jambi and West Java were also set for phased reopening starting from June 4.

Declining transmission rate in those provinces might allow certain businesses to reopen under strict health protocol, he said.

Police and soldiers will be involved to enforce public health guidelines.

"We need to follow the health guidelines to prevent a second wave of transmissions. If that happens, we will be forced to re-impose restrictions," Airlangga said.