Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths of hundreds of people in the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak.
The Indonesian leader says a locked gate at a police station contributed to the deaths of hundreds of people in the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak.
As the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia climbed above 2,000 on Wednesday, President Joko Widodo has called for the government to shut down almost all borders to stop the spread of the virus.
Widodo said that as of Thursday morning the country’s borders will only be open for the transfer of goods and materials and the transport of essential goods and services.
“We are trying to make every effort to solve this problem. We are trying to build a strong nation in the future and not kill people,” he said.
He says he’s given the order to shut down a police station in the capital Jakarta because of a lock in a gate that led to the deaths of at least 100 people and left many others seriously ill.
The president says the station was the site of an arrest after protesters attacked police officers.
He said he has no choice but to stop the government services with the closure of the gate.
“So I tell everyone to follow these orders,” he said.
He added that he took his decision because of the deaths and “because this is the only way to stop the spread of the coronavirus”.
“If there is no movement, then the virus will spread and other countries will follow. So please calm down everybody,” he said.
Police have arrested nearly 300 people at a protest site at the police station in central Jakarta and charged them with rioting, arson and attempted homicide.
In the latest report, Indonesia has recorded 2,065 deaths in the first three months of the year, with over 1,700 recorded in February alone, making it the country’s worst disaster.
The deaths have been rising steadily since the start of the year due to an outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Widodo earlier on Wednesday announced that he would close all borders to halt the spread of the virus, after