Indonesia bans foreign visitors for two weeks over new coronavirus variant

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International visitors will likely be barred from getting into Indonesia for a two-week interval to attempt to maintain out a new probably extra contagious variant of the coronavirus, its foreign minister Retno Marsudi stated on Monday.

The new regulation, efficient January 1, comes days after Indonesia banned travellers from the Britain and tightened guidelines for these arriving from Europe and Australia to restrict the unfold of the new variant.

Indonesia earlier this 12 months banned all foreign vacationers from entry however some exemptions have been made for enterprise vacationers. The new regulation applies to all foreign visitors, besides for high-level authorities officers or foreigners with residency permits, she stated.

The world’s fourth most populous nation has struggled to include the unfold of the novel coronavirus since recording its first case in March, now with almost 720,000 confirmed infections and 21,500 deaths, among the many highest in Asia.

It introduced 5,854 new infections and 215 deaths on Monday, with the positivity charge above 20% in latest days.

In latest weeks Indonesia’s healthcare system has come below pressure with hospitals on Java island compelled so as to add extra beds as emergency wards close to capability.

Senior well being ministry official Abdul Kadir on Monday stated hospitals had been at risk of changing into overwhelmed by a potential year-end vacation infections spike, with occupancy within the capital Jakarta already reaching 84%.

In West Java, Indonesia’s most populated province, hospital occupancy is presently at 83%, and in East Java, 77%, he stated.

“This means that these regions are in the red zone. The bed capacity is now in red zone. Any uptick will overwhelm hospitals,” he stated, including that 500 beds can be added within the better Jakarta space.

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)

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