On Sunday, April 5, authorities announced that effective Sunday, wearing face masks in public would be mandatory amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These measures follow a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) encouraging the use of face masks in public. The government has asked people to reserve the use of surgical and N95 masks for medical personnel, and to use washable fabric masks instead.
Additionally, on Sunday, Indonesia experienced its highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases to-date, with 181 cases confirmed over a 24-hour period.
As of Monday, April 6, previously announced measures remain in place, including the prohibition of all entry and transit by foreign nationals into or through Indonesia. However, foreigners with a limited stay permit card (Kitas), permanent stay permit card (Kitap), or other similar permits, will still be allowed to enter the country. Earlier on Friday, March 20, the Indonesian government suspended all visa-free and visa-on-arrival arrangements for one month.
Authorities have taken other measures including shutting down schools and entertainment venues, releasing 30,000 prison inmates to alleviate the spread of the disease within the penal system, and encouraging social distancing.
A state of emergency in Jakarta remains in place. Effective Monday, March 23, non-essential businesses such as bars, spas, and cinemas have been closed, and public transportation have been limited. Authorities have also urged companies to allow staff to work from home.
As of Monday, April 6, there have been 2273 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia, including 198 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.