COVID UPDATE: Indonesia postpones regional elections; Australia cases spike

May 6, 2020
People line up to wait to receive a swab test for COVID-19 at a train station in Bekasi on the outskirts of Jakarta.
PHOTO: AP

THE coronavirus has delayed Indonesian regional elections being decided by more than 100 million voters.

President Joko Widodo signed a regulation that would move the elections from September to December or later depending on the pandemic situation, the State Secretariat website said.

The vote would elect 9 governors, 37 mayors and 224 district chiefs across the archipelago.

The General Election Commission already had delayed election preparations because organizers have become ill with COVID-19.

The election authority said postponement was the most viable option to prevent the further spread of the virus to rural areas. Indonesia has confirmed 12,071 cases and 872 deaths.


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AUSTRALIAN CASES SPIKE: Australia recorded 26 new virus cases overnight mainly due to clusters at a Sydney nursing home and a Melbourne abattoir. Deputy Chief medical Officer Paul Kelly said the daily increase was larger than had been usual in recent weeks but he is confident health authorities are quickly getting on top of the clusters. Sixteen deaths are connected to Newmarch House in Sydney. There have been 49 infections linked to Cedar Meats in Melbourne, but no fatalities. The Australian government plans to announce on Friday a relaxation of lockdown rules to get more people back to work. Australia had recorded 6,875 cases and 97 fatalities in a population of 25.5 million.

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    People line up to wait to receive a swab test for COVID-19 at a train station in Bekasi on the outskirts of Jakarta.
    PHOTO: AP
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