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Social distancing turns Jakarta into quiet city

Jakarta Globe - March 21, 2020

Yudha Baskoro – The busy Indonesian capital has turned quiet since restrictions on work places and public gatherings were imposed on Friday due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

President Joko Widodo has called on citizens to strictly observe social distancing and stay at home. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, realizing that the city has now become a breeding ground of the virus, made a more specific call for employers to implement work-from-home policies.

The governor also ordered the temporary closure of non-essential premises, eateries, entertainment places and tourist resorts for at least 14 days.

Pictures taken at the weekend show a grim look of the country's biggest city that has dwindled to a standstill.

The social distancing has come to such a degree that it affected the way how Muslims performed their prayers. Nasaruddin Umar, the great imam of Indonesia's biggest mosque, the Istiqlal, has decided to cancel the Friday noon congregational prayer, which normally comes as mandatory for male Muslims.

In a rare image, Muslims in Jakarta put a distance from others during the daily prayer at the mosque, while the Hadith recommends shoulder-to-shoulder congregation.

The typically busy Jakarta MRT stations have come to near all-quite zones. Passengers are separated by a distance of at least one meter and striking red "X" marks are placed between seats to make sure there is no body contact.

Departure gate keepers stand guard with temperature guns, allowing only those with normal body temperature to aboard the train – but not before they wash hands with the available sanitizers.

Public parks, including the famous Untung Suropati Park in Menteng, and schools are closed to slow down the transmission of the virus, which has infected at least 267 Jakarta residents with 23 deaths.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/vision/social-distancing-turns-jakarta-into-quietcity