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Indonesia coronavirus cases spike towards end of Ramadan

Crowded markets, travel and mass prayers add to risk of further infection

Women wearing protective face masks and a face shield walk as they shop for clothes at a wholesale market in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 20.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia has seen two of its biggest daily spikes in coronavirus cases this week, but the worst may yet to come with concerns rising over further contagion surrounding the celebration of the Islamic holiday of Idul Fitri, due to fall on Sunday.

On Thursday, the government's task force for COVID-19 announced 973 new confirmed cases, the biggest 24-hour rise since Indonesia reported its first cases in early March. With a total of 20,796 cases as of Friday, Indonesia has the second largest number in Southeast Asia after Singapore. The rising trend over the past week or so coincides with the approach of Idul Fitri, a major festivity that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

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