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Coronavirus

Indonesia to Deploy Troops to Enforce Health Protocols

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia will deploy 340,000 security forces to enforce disciplinary of health protocols in place as the world’s fourth most populous nation prepares to reopen its economy.

Indonesia’s military chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told a news conference in Jakarta that soldiers and police would be deployed gradually starting Tuesday in 1,800 locations such as markets, public transportation facilities and malls, ensuring the public observe health guidelines such as social distancing and wearing a mask.

Shopping centers and other economic sectors were expected to be able to resume operations in Jakarta on June 4.

President Joko Widodo on Tuesday inspected preparations for reopening subway in Jakarta and a shopping mall in its satellite city of Bekasi. He told reporters the goal is to remain productive but safe from the threat of COVID-19.

Indonesia has reported more than 23,000 COVID-19 cases with about 1,400 deaths, the most fatalities in Southeast Asia.

Health experts have warned that reopening the economy prematurely could trigger a second wave of infections. The government, nevertheless, has insisted the country must be ready to get back to normal by the end of July amid growing economic pressures.

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