COVID-19: WHO urges Indonesia to launch tougher restrictions hinh anh 1A health worker takes care of a COVID-19 patient in Jakarta (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on July 22 urged Indonesia to implement a stricter and wider lockdown to combat soaring COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The recommendation came just days after Indonesian President Joko Widodo flagged the easing of restrictions, Reuters reported.

Indonesia has become one of the epicentres of the global pandemic in recent weeks, with positive COVID-19 cases leaping five-fold in the past five weeks. This week, daily deaths hit record highs over 1,300, among the highest tolls in the world.

In its latest situation report, WHO said the strict implementation of public health and social restrictions were crucial and called for additional "urgent action" to address sharp rises in infections in 13 of Indonesia's 34 provinces.

Under Indonesia's partial lockdown, social restrictions such as work-from-home and closed malls are limited to the islands of Java and Bali and small pockets in other parts of the country. Large sectors of the economy deemed critical or essential are exempt from most, or some, of the lockdown measures.

Indonesia's daily positivity rate, the proportion of people tested who are infected, has averaged 30 percent over the past week even as cases numbers have fallen. A level above 20 percent meant "very high" transmissibility, WHO said.

Aceh is the only locality in Indonesia's provinces recording a positivity rate under 20 percent, at 19 percent, it added./.