Four provinces and 22 districts/cities have applied the large-scale social restriction and distancing measures
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) believes Indonesia is lucky to choose the large-scale social restriction and distancing policy rather than a lockdown to flatten the curve of the new coronavirus disease that has spread nationwide.

"Four provinces and 22 districts/cities have applied the large-scale social restriction and distancing measures," he stated during a videoconference held at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

With the large-scale social restrictions in place, residents in affected areas can continue to conduct outdoor activities though being sentient of their obligation to implement the COVID-19 protocols, such as maintaining physical distancing and avoiding massive gatherings, he emphasized.

"We are doing our best. We are upbeat that the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic would soon peter out, though several experts believe that despite the number of cases descending, the curve will not directly flatten or the number of cases would be zero," President Jokowi expounded.

Until the proven vaccines are available, the people, at large, must come to terms with the fact that they will have to co-exist with COVID-19 for a period of time, he noted while urging the public to remain disciplined in applying the COVID-19 preventive measures.

Many roads in numerous areas wear a desolate look owing to the enforcement of large-scale social restriction measures. However, he also received reports on people failing to practice physical distancing measures, wear face masks, and wash hands, Jokowi pointed out.

The provinces, districts, and cities whose governments have enforced large-scale social restrictions comprise Jakarta, West Sumatra, West Java, Banjarmasin, Tarakan, Bandung City, Bandung District, Bandung Barat, Cimahi, Sumedang, Depok, Bogor City, Bogor District, Bekasi City, Bekasi District, Tegal, Makassar, Tangerang, Tangerang Selatan, Pekanbaru, Surabaya, Gresik, and Sidoarjo.

The novel coronavirus disease initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. Since then, it has spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Indonesia, with a massive increase in death toll.

The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2 this year.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has weakened the purchasing power of scores of Indonesian families, particularly those who have lost their jobs.
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Translator: Desca LN, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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