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Indonesia overtook the Philippines in its number of coronavirus cases, becoming the country with the largest outbreak in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia added 4,411 confirmed cases in the 24 hours through midday on Oct. 15, bringing its total to 349,160. The Philippines added just 2,261 cases with its total at 348,698.
Southeast Asia’s largest economy has been marking fresh records in the daily increase of virus cases every few weeks, while the Philippines have seen its numbers slowly ease. It was only in August that the smaller country overtook Indonesia to have the region’s worst outbreak as it brought back a second lockdown on its capital.
Meanwhile, Jakarta eased restrictions this week to let people return to offices, restaurants and cinemas, albeit at limited capacity. That’s after bringing back movement limits for a month as the capital’s health system was becoming overwhelmed.
The government reported 112 additional deaths from the disease known as Covid-19, bringing the total to 12,268.
Indonesia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus infections is set to tip the economy into its first annual contraction since the Asian financial crisis. President Joko Widodo‘s administration has set aside nearly $50 billion toward fighting the pandemic and mitigating its impact, while accelerating the passage of an omnibus law meant to spur investments and create jobs.
(Updates with more detail throughout.)