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Jakarta Post

West Java considers locking down cities and regencies to prevent COVID-19 spread

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Thu, March 26, 2020   /   07:43 pm
West Java considers locking down cities and regencies to prevent COVID-19 spread This photo shows the quiet Jl. Ir. H. Juanda in Bandung, West Java on March 23, 2020. The government's policy for people to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has emptied major roads in the city. (Antara/Raisan Al Farisi)

The West Java administration is deliberating a plan to impose a lockdown on some cities and regencies over fear that the wave of people coming into the province will accelerate the spread of COVID-19.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil told journalists on Thursday there had been an increase in the number of inbound travelers from Jakarta following the government’s recommendation to work and study from home.

The majority of the travelers are West Java residents who reside in the capital city for work.

"They're not supposed to come home, but they are doing it anyway. We will take some preventive measures [before things get worse]," Ridwan said.

Read also: COVID-19: ‘Mudik’ begins in Java while government mulls over travel ban

West Java, home to at least 50 million people, has reported 78 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday evening, 11 of which have died from the disease.

Meanwhile, nearly 3,700 of the province's residents are currently "under surveillance". At least 460 people are being isolated at several COVID-19 referral centers as of Thursday.

Ridwan further explained there were four big clusters of COVID-19 cases in West Java: a regional conference of the Association of Young Indonesian Business People (Hipmi) in Karawang regency on March 9, a sharia business conference held in Bogor from Feb. 25 to 28, an annual Protestant Churches of Western Indonesia (GPIB) gathering also in Bogor from Feb. 26 to 29 and a religious conference in Lembang, Bandung from March 3 to 5.

"We have coordinated with the West Java Police to track down the participants of the events to have them tested for COVID-19," Ridwan said.  

The administration has urged cities and regencies neighboring the capital city of Jakarta, where 515 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed, to immediately conduct massive tests in order to map the spread of the disease. (vny)