Jakarta’s civil servants will work from home for two months as the government seeks to clear air pollution that’s left President Joko Widodo coughing for weeks.
(Bloomberg) — Jakarta’s civil servants will work from home for two months as the government seeks to clear air pollution that’s left President Joko Widodo coughing for weeks.
Half of the civil servants will work from home starting Monday, before 75% of them would do so from next month through Oct. 21, according to an order by the capital’s interim governor as reported by local media. The smog that’s choking Jakarta threatens to cast a shadow over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit which will be held on Sept. 5-7.
The workers will be monitored to ensure they don’t leave their homes unnecessarily.
Read more: Jokowi Weighs Pollution Tax as Jakarta Suffers Worst Air Quality
The city that’s home to more than 10 million people has suffered air pollution at unhealthy levels in the past few weeks, with IQAir recently ranking it as the world’s most polluted city.
Authorities are scrambling to clear the air as even Jokowi has been nursing a cough recently. A senior minister suggested making masks mandatory, while the government mulls a pollution tax and stepping up oversight of vehicles and nearby factories as an extended dry season worsens the haze.
It’s a costly problem. Jakarta’s deadly smog is also causing 21.5 trillion rupiah ($1.4 billion) in economic losses, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said recently without elaborating.
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