JAKARTA, Feb.18 (CNA)- Indonesia's capital Jakarta is threatening residents with fines of up to 5 million rupiah (US$356.89) for refusing COVID-19 vaccines, an unusually stiff penalty aimed at ensuring compliance with a new regulation making inoculations mandatory.
Deputy Jakarta governor Ahmad Riza Patria said city authorities were merely following rules and such sanctions were a last resort in Jakarta, which accounts for about a quarter of the archipelago nation's more than 1.2 million coronavirus infections.
"If you reject it, there are two things, social aid will not be given, (and a) fine," Riza told reporters.
Indonesia is fighting one of Asia's biggest and most stubborn coronavirus epidemics and aims to inoculate 181.5 million of its 270 million population within 15 months under a vaccination programme that started last month.
Nearly 34,000 Indonesians are known to have died from the virus.