100 Jakarta firms suspended for COVID rule breach

Authorities in Indonesia's capital Jakarta have temporarily imposed a suspension on some 100 businesses from operating, for violating teleworking and other anti-pandemic rules.

The penalty comes as Indonesia tightened restrictions on daily life and economic activities to stem the recent surge in coronavirus cases. On Thursday, the country logged a record 38,391 new cases and 852 deaths.

The authorities inspected businesses in the capital on Wednesday. They say the suspended firms had their staff report to work in violation of the requirement to have all employees work from home, except in some sectors.

The Indonesian government imposed the tight restrictions for Jakarta and other areas on Java Island and the tourist island of Bali last Saturday.

The authorities apparently have a sense of urgency over the surging number of infections, which is overwhelming the country's medical system. They say companies that violate the rules three times would have their operation permits revoked.

The spread of the Delta variant, first identified in India, is blamed for the recent spike.

A group of citizens and journalists has released a statement to criticize the government for failing to adequately respond to the Delta variant. Frustrations are growing among the people.

Amid the strain on the healthcare system, the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta says seven Japanese residents of Indonesia died from COVID-19 in the 12 days through Wednesday.