The Jakarta Post
The city administration of Surabaya in East Java has made public a map displaying COVID-19 cases down to the subdistrict level to increase people’s awareness about the need to protect themselves.
Surabaya Communication and Information Agency head M. Fikser said the city administration had decided to do so to warn the public not to take the pandemic lightly.
“This is a serious issue. We don't wish to make the public panic, we just hope the public becomes aware that this issue requires the public’s active participation to overcome it,” Fikser told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
The data of people under surveillance (PDP) and patients under treatment (ODP) as well as patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in each subdistrict of the city can be accessed through the website lawancovid-19.surabaya.go.id.
ODP is the government’s classification for people who have traveled recently in infected regions or have come in contact with confirmed COVID-19 patient but do not show any symptoms. The PDP status is given to people who already have symptoms typical of COVID-19 and are under medical care but whose status needs to be confirmed through a test.
Surabaya released the map after the East Java provincial administration released its own version of the map, which places Surabaya in the red zone.
On March 24, the map showed that 134 people in Surabaya were under observation, seven patients were receiving treatment and 23 tested positive for COVID-19. These people were found across 77 subdistricts in 28 districts of Surabaya.
Fikser explained that the data was to be updated by 6 p.m. every day.
“If the Central administration sends us an update after 6 p.m, we will add it to the next day’s update. The deadline for uploading national data is at 4 p.m, provincial data is at 5 p.m and regency or city data is at 6 p.m,” he said.
Surabaya Legislative Council deputy speaker Reni Astuti lauded the Surabaya administration for its transparency with regard to the spread of COVID-19 in the city.
She expressed hope that the people would be more diligent in protecting themselves after seeing the map.
“We encourage the dissemination [of information] through the map, because it helps the public,” Reni said.
The Surabaya administration has conducted various measures to stem the transmission of COVID-19, including by using drones to spray disinfectant across the city. Authorities have also extended school holidays and installed hundreds of hand-washing stations.
Moreover, the city has prepared a special building in South Surabaya equipped with 30 beds to isolate patients showing mild symptoms.
They also installed disinfection chambers at two arrival terminals of Juanda International Airport in Surabaya. These chambers will be upgraded to a tunnel system to speed up the screening procedure for arriving passengers.
The administration has postponed three planned events to commemorate Surabaya’s 727th anniversary – Rujak Uleg Festival, Cak & Ning Pageant Grand Final and Surabaya Vaganza – which had been scheduled to take place on April 5, 9 and 12, respectively. (dpk)