2 Indonesian soldiers injured in explosion in central Jakarta
Robie de Guzman • December 3, 2019 • 386
Jakarta – Two Indonesian soldiers were injured, one of them seriously, in an explosion at the National Monument park in central Jakarta on Tuesday, military officials investigating the incident said.
Armed forces spokesperson Eko Margiyono said at a televised press conference that they suspect it was a case of a smoke grenade that exploded during a sports event in the park located near the presidential palace.
Police cordoned off the area, although the monument remained open to the public while investigations continued into the incident.
It was not clear whether the explosion was an accident or an attack.
The two soldiers, who were exercising in the park at the time of the explosion, suffered injuries to their arms and legs, according to images shared on social media.
They were transferred to the intensive care unit of the Gatot Subroto Army hospital, where their condition was stable, according to the authorities.
The incident comes three weeks after a suicide blast at a police station in Medan, on the island of Sumatra, which left six injured.
Indonesia has suffered several extremist attacks over the last two decades, including on the island of Bali in 2002, which killed 202. EFE-EPA
Designers in Indonesia and Malaysia are adding their artistic touches to reusable face masks, providing essential supplies and style and uniqueness amid the pandemic.
In the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Nicholas Septian Sugandi’s print shop had been losing business throughout his country’s mass-scale restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, but thanks to a new product introduced in May, lost business has been “recovered”.
Sugandi’s shop has been printing customers’ faces onto reusable face masks so that they can “look like themselves” when wearing it.
Each of the reusable masks takes around 30 minutes to produce, and cost 50,000 Indonesian rupiah ($3) each. The print shop has received hundreds of orders.
Wearing a face mask remains a mandatory practice across Indonesia.
In neighbouring Malaysia, textile designer Hafiz Drahman has utilised traditional designs from around the region to create colourful cloth masks with interchangeable filters.
In particular, Hafiz uses Batik, which is a traditional Javanese art that uses wax and ink to decorate cloth, and is derived from the Javanese word “titik,” meaning “dot”.
“So, as a designer, I saw that as an opportunity to use the cloth that I had, that is Batik textiles, and turn it into face masks,” Hafiz said from his workshop in Shah Alam, on the outskirts of capital Kuala Lumpur.
Although face masks are not compulsory in Malaysia, people are encouraged to wear them to protect themselves in public areas.
Hafiz currently sells his masks at 20 ringgits ($4.68) each.
Indonesia currently has 50,187 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,620 deaths, the highest total in Southeast Asia, while Malaysia has recorded 8,600 cases and 121 deaths as of Friday morning (June 26). (Reuters)
The idyllic holiday island of Bali has also been hit by the effects of the coronavirus crisis, with 40,000 hotel bookings already having been cancelled and the island’s economy standing to lose almost $110 million per month as Bali’s Tourism Board reported.
With only two cases reported so far, the island particularly suffers from the cancellation of all flights to and from China, one of its biggest tourist markets.
Around a million Chinese tourists visit the holiday island every year. It is the second-largest group of foreign arrivals after Australians.
Bali’s airport spokesman told state news agency Antara this week that in the first half of February about 740,000 people visited the island, 16.25% fewer than the same period last year, despite precautionary measures like spraying disinfectants or measuring the temperature of all passengers upon arrival.
Bali’s Deputy Governor, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, told media after a meeting of the local parliament that tourism in Bali has declined by 30 percent due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Tourists who lounged at Bali’s idyllic beaches said the situation was still manageable as only a few positive cases had been reported.
Indonesia President, Joko Widodo, had announced on Monday that a mother and daughter had tested positive to the virus. The discovery of the first cases came after some medical experts had raised concerns about lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases in the country of more than 260 million people. (REUTERS CONNECT)
(Production: I Wayan Sukarda, Sultan Anshori, Heru Asprihanto, Ute Swart)
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