The Jakarta Post
The Transportation Ministry is mulling over whether to limit or even ban this year’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).
“We are avoiding mass public gatherings. Unfortunately, the tradition of mudik will cause such gatherings to happen in several places across the country,” ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said during a video conference with journalists on Friday.
“However, we haven’t reached any decisions regarding the exodus.”
She said the ministry had formed a small team to discuss the issue. A report on the outcome of the discussions will be sent to Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan approximately next week.
In addition to his duties as minister, Luhut has also served as interim transportation minister since State Secretary Pratikno announced last week that Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi tested positive for COVID-19.
Adita said the decision regarding the exodus might be made during a meeting on preventive measures. “There might be some uncommon policy.”
The ministry’s team will also make a decision on the free mudik trips that were promised for those who registered for them.
Scientists from the Indonesian Young Scientist Forum previously called on the government to cancel the exodus this year, saying it would increase the risk of a wider outbreak nationwide. They argued that homebound travelers would carry the virus across the nation.
Former vice president Jusuf Kalla similarly called on the government to “order the people not to return to their hometowns during Ramadan,” according to tempo.co.
Ramadan is expected to begin on April 23, while Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the fasting month, is expected to fall on May 23. (roi/trn)