JAKARTA

Indonesia’s capital announced on Thursday that the Jakarta city government is set to transition from large-scale social restrictions into “new normal” protocols starting this month.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, however, stated that the old restrictions will be extended, without specifying a date.

The city has implemented social restrictions since April 10, with the third phase officially ended Thursday.

“During the transition period, some social and economic activities will be allowed to reopen while maintaining social distancing,” the governor told a press conference in the capital.

Last month, the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs came up with a formula to determine a region’s preparedness for reopening activities amid the pandemic, either on calculating the reproduction rate of the disease (the R value) or monitoring the virus spread and health service capacity.

“The decision was made as the reproduction rate of COVID-19 in the capital city has significantly reduced compared to March,” when the country found its first case, Baswedan explained.

The reproduction rate is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus onto, on average.

As of June 3, the reproduction rate of COVID-19 in Jakarta is 0.99, which means a person with the virus can infect around 0 to 1 people. In April, the reproduction rate was 5.7, which means a person with the virus could infect around 5 to 6 people.

By evaluating the health service capacity and the daily case and mortality rate, Jakarta is considered ready for the new normal.

Starting Friday places of worship will be allowed to hold regular services such as Friday prayers and Sunday mass while limiting attendance to 50%.

In addition, public transportation and offices can resume operations with a maximum capacity of 50% starting June 8.

Stand-alone restaurants – not located inside buildings or shopping malls – will also be allowed to reopen on June 8, while shopping centers may reopen from June 15.

Baswedan said the transition period will be evaluated regularly, and will be halted if there is a significant rise in COVID-19 cases.

Jakarta saw the highest number of infections in the country, with 7,690 cases.

So far, Indonesia has reported 28,818 cases, including 1,721 deaths and 8,892 recoveries.

*Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian-language service in Jakarta

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