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Jakarta Post

House calls for 'stricter' social distancing through regional quarantines

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 16, 2020   /   04:31 pm
House calls for 'stricter' social distancing through regional quarantines A classroom in Depok Baru Primary School in Depok, West Java, sits empty after the students were dismissed on March 16. The Depok administration has closed down several schools after confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the city. (JP/Riand Alfiandy)

The House of Representatives has called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to enforce stricter social distancing measures by implementing “regional quarantines” following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in several regions of the country.

House Speaker Puan Maharani said the House supported the government’s move to encourage people to limit their interactions outside their homes to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus. She said the move was in accordance with the 2018 Quarantine Law.

"The House demands the government and the public be disciplined in implementing social distancing," the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said in a statement on Monday.

She also said the House had urged the government to provide free treatment and tests to those exposed to the virus. The House has also urged the government to distribute testing kits to regions and for the tests to be carried out outside the Health Ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency's (Balitbangkes) offices.

Furthermore, Puan also stressed that transparency was key to handling the outbreak and called for the the special fast response team lead by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to announce to the public the steps that would be taken to curtail the spread of the disease, which has been declared a pandemic by the WHO.

“The fast response team must be the state’s representative in providing security for the public and must take concrete moves on education, mitigation and emergency actions to handle the outbreak,” she added.

Saleh Daulay, a lawmaker in House Commission IX overseeing health, said that regional quarantines were similar to lockdowns and, therefore, required academic studies on their implementation, including ensuring measures were taken to fulfil people’s basic needs during the quarantine period.

The National Mandate Party (PAN) politician recommended that the special fast response team hold discussions with experts to determine the best course of action.

If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak