Jakarta (Agencies) – The government on Monday extended its COVID-19 curbs though relaxed some measures in eight unspecified areas on the most populous islands of Java and Bali, as fewer infections have been reported in cities.
The easing of certain measures included allowing restaurant dine-in at 25 percent of capacity and increasing the number of shoppers allowed in malls, for regions where the strictest level of curbs are in place.
Earlier on Monday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said during his annual state of the nation speech the country must "strike a balance" between health and economic interests amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
"The pandemic has indeed significantly slowed down our economic growth, but it must not hinder the process of structural reforms of our economy," the president said in the speech to the House of Representatives.
Struggling with a surge in infections driven by the Delta variant, Indonesia has become Asia's epicentre for COVID-19, with hospitals overwhelmed at times and the daily death toll recently the highest globally with total fatalities topping 100,000.