The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) has started patrols to ensure the temporary closure of places of entertainment across the capital following the issuance of a circular by the Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency to curb the further spread of COVID-19.
Satpol PP officers held patrols and placed temporary closure seals on some movie theaters and hotels with spa services, including the Djakarta Theater and Metropole Theater in Menteng as well as the Malioboro Hotel and Emporium Hotel in Gambir, all of which are located in Central Jakarta.
A number of karaoke lounges and bars, including those in the Grand Paragon in Taman Sari district, West Jakarta, and those located within the Blok M area in Kebayoran Baru district in South Jakarta were also closed.
Satpol PP head Arifin said that some entertainment places still opened as of Monday, therefore the agency planned to knock on their doors in the coming days to ensure that all related businesses complied with the circular.
The agency will immediately close places of entertainment that still operate amid the capital's emergency status. No sanctions will be applied, he said.
"[The closure] is important to prevent the further spread of the virus in places with high risks, as the Jakarta governor has said," Arifin told The Jakarta Post by phone on Monday, "We hope the public can cooperate by complying with the circular."
The closures came amid a rising number of people infected by the novel coronavirus in Jakarta, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Indonesia had recorded 579 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday, with 49 fatalities. Thirty patients have recovered from the disease, according to the government's data as shown in covid19.go.id.
Out of the 579 total confirmed cases, Jakarta -- which declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak on Friday -- recorded 356 confirmed cases with 29 deaths and 23 recovered patients so far.
The Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency issued on Friday a circular imposing a mandatory temporary closure from March 23 until April 5 on some entertainment places, including night clubs, bars, karaoke joints, massage parlors, spas and movie theaters, as well as bowling and billiard halls to slow the transmission of the disease.
The administration, however, has yet to issue a circular to close shopping malls, the go-to destinations for many Jakartans to hang out and meet up with their friends and colleagues.
Jakarta administration's assistant for people's welfare, Catur Laswanto, noted that as of Monday, some residents still went out to hang out in public places despite calls from the authorities to stay home and take social-distancing measures.
Catur said the administration would clear crowds or any mass gatherings as authorities had cautioned against such actions.
"The number of cases keeps growing from time to time. This is a very concerning fact for us all," Catur, who used to lead the Jakarta COVID-19 task force, told the press during a daily briefing at City Hall on Monday afternoon.
"We can only fight against the spread of the virus if the public comply with the administration's call to stay home, keep a safe distance and don't go out unless there are important errands."
A similar policy has also been enforced in Central Sulawesi, although the province has yet to record any confirmed cases.
Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola recently issued a circular that temporarily barred residents from going to places of entertainment and tourist attractions where people usually gather in a large group.
"I am asking the relevant stakeholders, the regents and mayors, to implement it," Longki told the Post on March 16
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo also issued on March 16 a similar policy imposing a temporary closure of places of entertainment and tourist attractions.
The administration -- which recorded 15 COVID-19 patients in the province to date -- has closed at least 40 tourist attractions in 11 cities and regencies.
"We decided to close all places of entertainment because the risk of the spread in those places is very high," Ganjar said. (dfr)
- Ruslan Sangadji and Suherdjoko contributed to this story from Palu and Semarang