Indonesia imposes emergency restrictions amid virus surge

WION Web Team
Indonesia Published: Jul 01, 2021, 05:45 PM(IST)

Teachers wait to receive the Sinovac vaccine against coronavirus during a vaccination drive at an Islamic boarding school in Tungkop, Aceh province Photograph:( AFP )

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Indonesia started vaccinating the youth aged between 12 to 17 on Thursday with students receiving jabs even as new restrictions have been imposed in the country.

Indonesia on Thursday announced it will be imposing emergency measures until July 20 amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

"This situation has forced us to take stricter steps... I have decided to impose emergency restrictions," President Joko Widodo said in a televised address to the nation.

On Thursday, Indonesia had recorded over 24,000 cases which was the highest for the country including 504 deaths in 24 hours as it struggles to keep its health services in shape amid mass hospitalisations.

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The country has declared non-essential employees to stay home and work and moved school education online while shutting down malls and mosques.

The country's capital Jakarta has been hit hard with the virus including west and central Java with record hospitalisations. Authorities say the Delta variant has become the dominant strain with oxygen cylinders in high demand in hospitals.

Indonesia has been slow to vaccinate its citizens with just 13 million vaccinated so far with both shots out of a population of 270 million.

The authorities have been using China's Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccine including the AstraZeneca vaccine. The president had earlier pledged to ramp up vaccinations to one million doses per day this month and two million in August.

The country started vaccinating the youth aged between 12 to 17 on Thursday with students receiving jabs even as new restrictions have been imposed in the country.

The authorities had restricted movement last week in "red zones" however the virus continued to spread as officials mulled over proposals for tighter restrictions on air travel

There have been 2.1 million coronavirus cases and 58,995 deaths due to the virus so far in the country. The authorities are aiming to half the number of infected cases to below 10,000 which has risen exponentially in the past month.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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