Jakarta increases efforts to fight COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises each day, Jakarta has been increasing its efforts to limit the spread of the virus by disinfecting streets and residential areas since last week.

Most Jakartans have been cooperative and followed the order to stay at home, as streets were mostly empty when workers sprayed disinfectant solution with drones and trucks across the capital.

Local authorities operate drones

Drones at Jalan Sudirman, JakartaImage credit: @KotaJaksel

On Friday, 27th March, personnel from the Indonesian Air Force, Indonesian Aero Sport Federation (FASI), and the South Jakarta COVID-19 Task Force joined hands to operate the remote-controlled drones along Jalan Sudirman in the city’s central business district.

Video credit: RT

These drones were each equipped with devices that could spray disinfectant over a wide area.

Video credit: Valid News

The drones used were DJI Agras produced by Shenzhen-based DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer. The Agras, which is designed to spray pesticides and fertilizers for agricultural use, have a carrying capacity of 10 to 16 litres each.

Basuki Rochmat, head of the Indonesian Air Force’s Aerospace Potential Agency, said that using drones is more effective than manual spraying because it can cover a large area within a short time and reach heights that humans can’t, as reported by Siar.com.

Water cannons and fire trucks were deployed too

Firefighters spray disinfectant in Jakarta
Image credit: Kompas.com/Garry Lotulung

On Tuesday, 31st March, police and firefighters also joined in on the action by deploying water cannons and fire trucks to spray disinfectant on main roads.

Firefighters spray disinfectant in JakartaImage credit: Liputan6.com/Faizal Fanani

The spraying will be done regularly in areas that have not been disinfected and potential COVID-19 hotspots, according to North Jakarta Police Chief Budhi Herdi Susianto. All five administrative cities – North, West, East, Central, and South – will be regularly disinfected.

Water cannons spray disinfectant in JakartaImage credit: Liputan6.com/Johan Tallo

COVID-19 statistics as of Wednesday, 1st April

This chart shows the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia and the number of cases in each province. Image credit: COVID-19 Task Force

Indonesia has seen a rapid rise in the number of cases. As of 4PM on Wednesday, 1st April, there are 1,677 cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, resulting in 157 deaths.

With 794 cases and 87 deaths in Jakarta itself, the capital accounts for over half of COVID-19 deaths in the country. 32 out of 34 Indonesian provinces have been infected so far. For the latest official government updates, visit the official COVID-19 website.

What disinfectant can and cannot do

Screenshot of WHO IG post
Image credit: @who

It is important to note that disinfectant kills viruses and bacteria when sprayed on a surface, but spraying it on your body or clothes won’t prevent you from contracting COVID-19 if it has already entered your body. According to the World Health Organization, spraying substances containing alcohol or chlorine on the body can potentially have harmful effects.

Instead, to maintain hygiene, we should be washing our hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face with unwashed hands, disinfect frequently-touched items, and practice physical distancing

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Cover image adapted from: @kominfotikjb

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