JAKARTA: Indonesia confirmed 129 new COVID-19 cases on Monday (Mar 30), taking the total to 1,414 in the country.
There were also eight more deaths, taking the total to 122, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto. He added that 75 patients had recovered.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said earlier on Monday that he plans to impose stricter limits on mobility between regions and also to implement a large-scale policy of social distancing to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
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“In implementing the policy of large scale social distancing, I ask that a regulation is prepared for clear guidance for provincial level governments,” the president said at the opening of a cabinet meeting.
Presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman said via Twitter that Mr Widodo was embarking on “a new stage of war against COVID-19, which is large scale social distancing with health quarantines”.
This comes as Indonesia’s government faces increasing calls to tighten restrictions on movement, with the number of deaths due to COVID-19 rising.
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A hashtag, translated as #LockdownOrDie, trended on social media on Sunday afternoon, while politicians, doctors and rights leaders all urged stricter action, especially in the capital Jakarta.
Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights, a government body, wants a regional quarantine in areas categorised as “red zones” due to high health risks.
Of major concern is whether the virus will spread during the “mudik” when millions of Indonesians traditionally leave cities for hometowns after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May.