Indonesia lifts all COVID curbs, shifts to endemic approach

Almost three years after officials announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the country’s leader said Friday they are lifting all coronavirus-related restrictions nationwide, Associated Press (AP) reported.

President Joko Widodo said Indonesia’s COVID-19 situation is under control after observing improvements over the past 10 months, allowing the country to abandon the large-scale social restrictions on crowds and people's movement it had adopted in April 2020.

However, Widodo called on people to remain careful and alert as “the pandemic has not ended completely”. He told a news conference at the presidential palace in the capital, Jakarta, that the use of masks in crowds and closed spaces should continue, though it wouldn't be required.

The government will also shift its response efforts to an “endemic” approach as the virus still exists in a community but becomes manageable as immunity builds, COVID-19 Handling Committee chair Airlangga Hartarto said in a separate news conference Friday.

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