Officials wearing personal protective equipments prepare the bodies of people who died due to COVID-19 at a crematorium in Bangli, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo: Reuters)

JAKARTA - Agencies
Indonesia passes Philippines with most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia

Indonesia on Thursday (Oct 15) reported 4,411 new coronavirus infections, taking its tally to 349,160, passing the Philippines with the highest case number in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia also reported 112 new COVID-19 deaths, with total fatalities reaching 12,268.

The Philippines had recorded 348,698 cases and 6,497 deaths as of Thursday.

On Sunday, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced Jakarta would kick off a two-week "transitional" period of eased coronavirus curbs from Monday, after the pace of infections slowed over the last two weeks.

Tougher social restrictions had been reimposed in mid-September, after a spurt in virus infections put stress on the city's health services.

"We need to emphasise that discipline must remain high so that the chain of transmission remains under control and we don't have to do an emergency brake again," Baswedan said in a statement on Sunday.

The new measures allow non-essential businesses to work from offices, but making use only of half their capacity, while dine-in customers at restaurants are also limited to 50 per cent of capacity.

Parks and museums have started opening with some curbs, while all businesses have to follow a strict hygiene protocol and keep data on their visitors for contact tracing purposes.

AstraZeneca is set to provide Indonesia with 100 million coronavirus vaccines next year, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Masrudi said on Wednesday.

Indonesia's health ministry has signed a letter of intent with AstraZeneca, Retno added.

"The first shipment will be made by the first half of 2021," she told a news conference.

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