Jakarta (ANTARA) - The management staff of dozens of Indonesian McDonald's outlets faced questioning by the Jakarta metropolitan police in connection with their latest BTS meal deal that generated massive buying on Wednesday.

The McDonald's management staff members extended their apologies over the crowd-pulling activities, the Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesperson Sen. Coms. Yusri Yunus remarked here on Thursday.

The staff members additionally vowed to streamline their online-ordering system to prevent similar incidents of crowding from recurring in future, Yunus noted.

On Wednesday, the Indonesian McDonald's outlets had offered a new meal set named after Korea's BTS, a seven-member Korean boy band.

Consequently, scores of admirers of the BTS, also called the Bangtan Boys, then made a dash to place their orders for the BTS meal sets.

The situation triggered feverish buying that resulted in crowds of online-food delivery drivers at several McDonald's outlets.

According to Yunus, 32 McDonald's outlets were closed down for a 24-hour period and then reopened on Thursday at 2 p.m. local time to serve customers.

In response to the crowd-drawing activities, Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria stated that authorities had ordered McDonald's outlets to shut down for 24 hours.

Several closed outlets were found in the neighborhoods of Gambir, Cideng, Kramat Raya, Raden Saleh, and Menteng, he remarked, adding that they would also be fined Rp50 million.

Jakarta is one of Indonesia's provinces experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases following the recent Eid-al Fitr holiday season.

The Wisma Atlet Kemayoran emergency hospital in Central Jakarta received 405 other COVID-19 patients over the past 24 hours, thereby bringing the total number of those hospitalized to 89,111 since March 23, 2020.

Currently, 3,626 patients are being hospitalized in Towers 4, 5, 6, and 7, according to the hospital's spokesperson, Colonel Aris Mudian.

The COVID-19 outbreak initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 and thereafter spread across the world, including countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government announced the nation's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

The central and regional governments have thereafter striven incessantly to flatten the coronavirus disease curve by applying healthcare protocols and social restrictions.

To break the chain of spread of COVID-19, which had dampened the purchasing power of families throughout Indonesia, the government also banned homebound travel, or "mudik," ahead of this year's Eid al-Fitr holiday season, akin to the protocol followed last year.

Vice Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono projected the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, in the wake of the Eid al-Fitr festivity, to peak in mid-June of 2021.

In preventing the surfacing of new transmission clusters, the government is planning to extend the quarantine period for travelers arriving from abroad, especially from countries hit by the COVID-19 crisis, to 14 days, from the earlier five days.

Currently, Indonesia's total count of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 1.8 million amid the government's ongoing efforts to win the battle against the disease that has acutely impacted the economy and public health.

As part of its efforts to tackle the pandemic, the Indonesian government has commenced a nationwide vaccination program to contain infections, which surfaced on January 13, 2021.
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Translator: Fianda SR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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