INDONESIAN President Joko Widodo wants to ramp up coronavirus testing by 50% to 30,000 daily as infections exceeded 75,000 in Southeast Asia’s most populous nation.
Jokowi, as the president is known, instructed his ministers on Monday to boost the nationwide testing capacity from a previous target of 20,000 a day by opening more laboratories especially in 8 areas that include the capital region of Jakarta and neighboring West and East Java.
“I want us to intensify the testing, tracing and treatment with priorities in 8 provinces,” he told members of his cabinet before the meeting.
Indonesia reported 1,681 new cases in the 24 hours to midday Sunday, bringing the total to 75,699, with an additional 71 people succumbing to the virus. The death toll has risen to 3,606 in Indonesia, the most in Southeast Asia. More than half of the new cases on Sunday came from East Java and Jakarta, two of the country’s hotspots.
Infections in Indonesia accelerated after governments eased curbs
Jakarta had extended a transition period to exit from a partial lockdown by two weeks to the middle of this month, as the city continued to report hundreds of new coronavirus cases a day. It posted a record daily spike on Sunday.
The pandemic has hit Indonesia harder than the 1997 Asian financial crisis, battering small and big businesses alike, Jokowi said last month. On July 9, when the country reported the highest daily number of cases, Jokowi called the situation a “red signal.” — Bloomberg