Achmad Yurianto, the Indonesian Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Directorate Secretary, noted at his daily briefing the “significant” increase in cases and said the new cases primarily came from East Java province.
After Jakarta and its surrounding provinces such as West Java, East Java is best equipped to process and assess PCR test results and the spike in the eastern province of the country’s main island raises questions about the lack of testing elsewhere.
Yurianto said the increase “means people are still ignoring the health protocols, that people are infecting those who are vulnerable. We need discipline practicing the health protocols. This is the time we play our part in handling COVID-19”.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, who was scheduled to speak at the same press conference, did not appear.
The Indonesian government has begun easing restrictions designed to contain the spread of the virus, such as overturning the grounding of domestic flights for people returning home during the Ramadan religious holiday.
While the government insists the re-started flights are only for essential workers, in family emergencies or for employees of state-owned enterprises, for example, copies of the required exemption documents are freely available on the street to those willing to circumvent the rules – for as little as $10.
Jakarta’s main airport was flooded by people on the first day that restrictions on flights were eased.