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Indonesia records biggest daily rise in COVID-19 infections, to impose more targeted restrictions to fight outbreak

Indonesia records biggest daily rise in COVID-19 infections, to impose more targeted restrictions to fight outbreak

A rider working for Grab wears a protective mask at a sidewalk near the business district of Jakarta on the first business day of the new year on Jan 4, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Willy Kurniawan)

JAKARTA: Indonesia recorded its biggest daily rise in COVID-19 infections on Wednesday (Jan 6) with 8,854 new cases, bringing the total number to 788,402, according to data from the country's COVID-19 task force.

Currently battling the worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia, Indonesia also reported 187 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 23,296.

Earlier on Wednesday, chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto said Indonesia will impose two weeks of increased COVID-19 restrictions in parts of its most populous island of Java and the resort island of Bali from Jan 11 in an effort to support hospitals and reduce fatality rates.

Hartarto said some of the measures include changes to opening hours for malls and limited capacity at restaurants and places of worship.

READ: Indonesia Islamic council hopes for halal ruling before mass vaccination

READ: COVID-19: Why Indonesia is vaccinating its working population first, not elderly

On Tuesday, Indonesia's health minister said the country will begin its nationwide COVID-19 mass vaccination programme on Jan 13.

The programme will launch in Jakarta, with President Joko Widodo set to be given the first shot, Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a statement, while vaccinations in other regions will start in the following two days.

The government has previously said 1.3 million frontline workers are due to be among the first to receive the vaccines made by China's Sinovac Biotech. Indonesia has received 3 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, named CoronaVac.

After health workers had been inoculated, regional governors should come forward to be given the vaccine "to generate confidence in the community", said Budi.

Budi has said that Indonesia must inoculate 181.5 million people, or roughly 67 per cent of the population, to reach herd immunity.

The vaccine will be administered for free across the archipelago, with the rollout expected to take 15 months.

Indonesia's state-owned drugmaker Bio Farma had dispatched more than 760,000 doses of Sinovac's vaccines to 34 Indonesian provinces as of Tuesday.

Indonesia has also secured over 329 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, most notably from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, and AstraZeneca.

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Source: Reuters/kg

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