Indonesia makes wearing of face masks compulsory when away from home


JAKARTA — The Indonesian authorities have made the wearing of face masks compulsory when one is away from home, as the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the country rose to 209 today since the start of the pandemic. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in a statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat today, that the wearing of face masks was in line with the call made by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Yesterday, Achmad Yurianto, the Indonesian government’s spokesman for COVID-19 matters, had advised the public to wear cloth face masks for a maximum of four hours before washing them for reuse.

“There is no need to use N-95 face masks. Face masks made of cloth are sufficient. The N-95 masks are only for healthcare personnel,” he said.

At a press conference today, Achmad Yurianto said 11 deaths had occurred in the last 24 hours, while 218 cases had been recorded during the same period, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2,491.

Today’s announcement on the wearing of face masks did not include information on penalties for those who fail to comply with the requirement.

While the Indonesian government has not issued a lockdown or movement control order, it has stressed on large-scale social restrictions affecting all aspects of community activities as part of measures to contain the virus.