Jakarta (ANTARA) - A lockdown is not viable for Indonesia yet due to a number of reasons, including maintaining economic stability, said Wiku Adisasmito, an expert on the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling.

“A lockdown has not been considered by the government because such a move would mean closing-off regions and that would have economic, social, and security implications. Therefore, the policy cannot be applied at this time," Professor Wiku said at a press conference here on Wednesday.

The government is trying to sustain economic and social activities, and citizens must carry out their activities with modifications, he added.

This needs to be done as there are still many people who are surviving on daily wages, he explained. This fact has been one of the key considerations of the government in making policies, he added.

A lockdown will force people to stay at home completely, and that would affect the national economy, he noted.

As part of measures to check the spread of the coronavirus, the government has urged citizens to observe social distancing.

Earlier, the government's spokesman for the COVID-19 response, Achmad Yurianto, had said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has reached 172.

The largest number of new cases have been reported from Jakarta, East Java, Central Java, and Riau Islands.

While five persons have died so far due to COVID-19, nine have recovered as on Tuesday (17/3). (INE)

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Translator: Prisca Triferna V, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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