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Jakarta Post

Jakarta puts brakes on E-prix over COVID-19 fears

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 11, 2020   /   08:47 pm
Jakarta puts brakes on E-prix over COVID-19 fears DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan drove a BMW i8 Roadster in a orange front when a convoy of electric vehicles from Gelora Bung Karno headed for the National Monument, Jakarta, Friday (September 20, 2019). (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The Jakarta administration has postponed the Jakarta E-Prix, the capital's first-ever Formula E race initially set to take place on June 6, as part of its efforts to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The race, which would have been held at the National Monument (Monas), is postponed indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the city administration is in talks with the Formula E Organizers (FEO) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) about monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, not only in Indonesia but also around the world, according to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

“The health and safety of our residents are our main priority, so we decided to postpone the Formula E race in June," Anies said on Wednesday at a daily briefing about developments related to COVID-19 in the capital.

"The risks are too high if we let in many tourists from countries with confirmed coronavirus cases. We do not want to pursue economic benefits at the expense of the residents' safety."

The governor announced in September that Jakarta would host the 2020 Formula E race — which according to Bank Indonesia — was expected to help boost the capital's economy by 0.02 percent — in a bid to spur tourism.

Prior to Anies’ announcement, city councillors had been calling on the administration to cancel the race for fear it would incur losses, as several countries had already issued travel warnings for their citizens.

Indonesia reported on Wednesday its 34th COVID-19 case, a 42-year-old man in an imported case, the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto said.

A 53-year-old foreigner, also known as Case 25, reportedly died on Wednesday morning.

As of Wednesday evening, 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the archipelago.

 Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announces the postponement of the 2020 Jakarta E-Prix to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the City Hall on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announces the postponement of the 2020 Jakarta E-Prix to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the City Hall on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (JP/Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman)

"We have to reduce the interaction between those who have been exposed to the disease and the general public. We are aware that there are [34] positive cases in Indonesia," Anies said. "We have to be serious, but we must not panic."

According to the World Health Organization, 113,702 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed worldwide, with the death rate rising to 3.4 percent.

The Jakarta administration is currently monitoring 70 people suspected of having the virus and supervising 97 more being treated at hospitals, Jakarta Health Agency head Widyastuti told the press briefing.

She added that 331 people had been declared virus-free from previous monitoring and 100 discharged from the hospital.

In addition to postponing the Jakarta E-Prix, the city administration is planning to suspend its weekly Car Free Day for the next two weeks.

An ad-hoc working committee, called the permit review team, will also be formed to evaluate the permits of Jakarta-based events and decide whether they can proceed with conditions, be postponed or canceled.

The Jakarta E-Prix Organizing Committee is also postponing the construction of a 2.6-kilometer racetrack around Monas, called the Monas Circuit, according to the committee's director of communications and sustainability, Felicia Idama.

The committee revealed the racetrack’s design in mid-February, saying it would have 11 bends and allow drivers to speed up to 220 kilometers per hour.

"We are discussing the technicalities, so we cannot decide [on a new date for the race] just yet," Felicia told The Jakarta Post via text message on Wednesday.

Construction on the Monas circuit, designed by German racetrack designer Tilke Engineers & Architects and initially set to be built by city-owned developer PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro), was expected reach completion in April before undergoing tests before the race.

The 47-minute race was going to involve 24 drivers from 13 countries in 12 teams.

Jakpro had requested a Rp 767 billion (US$53.45 million) capital injection from the city budget, of which Rp 344 million would be used for asphalting and erecting barriers and fences, said Jakpro president director Dwi Wahyu Daryoto.

The remaining Rp 423 million was to be used for a bank guarantee.

"After discussing [the matter] with FEO and other stakeholders, we decided to postpone the Jakarta E-Prix from the initial schedule of June 6," Dwi said in a statement released on Wednesday.

"This is a preventive measure against COVID-19, prioritizing the health of Indonesians, especially in the capital." (dfr)

List of canceled events in Jakarta due to COVID-19





  Head in the Cloud

  March 7

  Pop music festival


  Hammersonic 2020

March 27-28

  Metal music festival  

  Rescheduled to Jan. 15-17, 2021

  Khalid Free Spirit World Tour

  March 28

 Music concert


  6IXSENSE World Tour

  April 11

  K-Pop concert


  Kim Jae-joong Asia Tour

  March 7

  K-Pop concert


  Foals Live in Jakarta

  March 10

  Rock concert


  Formula E electric motorsports   championship

  June 6




Source: various sources