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Image: President Jokowi announces extension last night. Credit: Youtube.

As was widely expected, the Emergency PPKM, or Covid-19 Emergency Community Activity Restriction, has been extended, not to the end of July, as was much rumoured before the announcement, but to Sunday, July 25, 2021.

The central government said they will gradually relax the Emergency PPKM as of 26 July 2021, if Covid-19 cases continue to decrease.

This was stated by President Jokowi in a live stream on social media from Jakarta on Tuesday (20/7) evening. In the last minute announcement, President Jokowi stressed that the extension of the Emergency PPKM could not be avoided in order to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and reduce the pressure on hospitals.

“We do not want a paralysis of hospitals due to the overcapacity of Covid-19 patients, while services for patients with other critical illnesses are not disrupted and their lives threatened,” said Jokowi in the video, quoted by NusaBali.

Jokowi said that since the PPKM was introduced almost three weeks, and based on data from the National Covid-19 Task Force, there had been a decrease in additional new cases and bed occupancy rates at hospitals. Jokowi said that he was grateful for this decline.

“We continue to monitor the dynamics on the ground related to the impact of the Emergency PPKM on the community. Therefore, if the trend of Covid-19 cases continues to decrease, the government will open the PPKM in stages from July 26, 2021,” he said.

“I ask everyone in the community to cooperate by implementing the rules in a disciplined manner; implementing health protocols, isolating those who have symptoms, and providing treatment for those who are exposed. The government will continue to distribute two million free medicine packages for people without and with mild symptoms,” said Jokowi.

There are also other financial assistance packages being distributed to individuals and businesses affected by the PPKM.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases in Bali experienced a decline for two consecutive days, Sunday (18/7) and Monday (19/7). On July 18, cases in Bali fell to 944 new cases, from 1,019 the day before. Then on July 19, Corona cases in Bali fell again to 837 new cases, along with 617 recovered patients (the highest record throughout the pandemic), however, 25 patients died (also the highest record throughout the pandemic).

Then yesterday July 20, Covid-19 cases in Bali rose slightly again to 880 new cases, along with 533 patients recovering, and 23 patients dead. Based on the latest data released by the Bali Province Covid-19 Task Force, of the 880 new cases as on last Tuesday, 141 of them were domestic travelers (PPDN) and 3 were overseas travelers (PPLN). The remaining 736 people were local transmissions.