Wed, 27 May 2020

JAKARTA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesia COVID-19 Task Force has offered relaxation of social restrictions to over 120 cities and districts which have not been infected by the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to boost economy, chief of the task force said on Friday.

The COVID-19 Task Force's Chief Doni Monardo pointed out that a total of 124 cities and districts are actually eligible to broaden activities, especially those that support the people's efforts to address economic problems.

Still, he would listen to the stance of the authorities of the cities and districts on the offer, whether or not they would like it.

Monardo expected to receive their responses after the Muslims post-fasting festivity of Eid al-Fitr which is coming up on Sunday and Monday.

"In the near future, we will report the cities and districts having a larger number of people with productive activities to the president," said Monardo.

Although the spread of COVID-19 has been leaping, some cities and districts are free from the virus infection cases due to geographical conditions and a large number of people obeying the partial lockdown rules set up to limit contagion, he said in a statement.

Indonesia has imposed a policy on partial lockdowns along with physical distancing rules to endure the pandemic, which has cast millions of people out of work as business activities have been suspended.

The economic growth plummeted by 2.97 percent at the first quarter and the estimate was downgraded to 2.3 percent for the whole of this year, compared with 5.02 percent last year.

By Friday, the COVID-19 outbreak has killed 1,326 people and infected 20,796 others in Indonesia, the government's spokesman for the COVID-19 Related Matters Achmad Yurianto said.

The number of daily increase drifted down by 634 on Friday from a record of 973 a day earlier, according to him.

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