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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Regions start locking down as govt works on regulation

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 28, 2020   /   05:53 pm
COVID-19: Regions start locking down as govt works on regulation Residents of Srunen hamlet in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, blocked off roads leading to their area on Saturday, March 28, 2020. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)

A number of regions across the country have taken serious measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by imposing their own versions of regional lockdowns, as the central government in Jakarta has yet to issue any regulation on lockdown requirements and procedures.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said the government had been speeding up the deliberation of a regulation on regional lockdown so that it could be issued immediately.

The minister, however, refused to use the word “lockdown” to describe the situation, preferring instead to call it a “regional quarantine”, as stipulated in the 2018 Health Quarantine Law.

Mahfud said the Home Ministry was assigned to coordinate with local administrations that had closed off their borders.

The following are regions that have imposed a regional lockdown, and the reasons why they did so without waiting for an instruction from the central government.

Maluku

The Maluku provincial administration has limited access to airports and ports, as stipulated in a decree signed by Maluku Governor Murad Ismail. The administration urged its residents to stay at home and maintain physical distance from others to prevent the disease that “disrupts social security and order” from spreading.

“Arrivals and departures by land and/or sea transportation are limited except for important and urgent matters,” the decree states.

The decree also requires any person arriving in the province to fill out an arrival form and self-quarantine for 14 days under the supervision of a family member and local health center.

The policy was imposed after the announcement of the province’s first confirmed COVID-19 case: a resident who moved from Bekasi, West Java, to the city of Ambon. The patient had been placed under surveillance at Dr. Haulussy General Hospital in Ambon since arriving from Bekasi.

Read also: Maluku to intensify border restrictions after first confirmed COVID-19 case

Papua

The Papua administration enforced a tougher approach by restricting entry into the province through both sea and air travel for two weeks starting Thursday. However, the transportation of goods is exempt from the policy.

Such measure was taken after the province announced its first two COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The lack of medical facilities in the province was a concerning factor, given that Papua has 45 hospitals, only 15 of which can handle coronavirus cases.

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe was adamant that the restriction was not a lockdown. “However, we are considering whether it is necessary to completely block [access to] Papua to protect Lapago, Meepago and Animha because they are particularly vulnerable,” he said recently.

Read also: Govt suspends Papuan seaport, airport operations to curb COVID-19 spread

Tegal, Central Java

The Tegal city administration is closing its borders for four months from March 30 to July 31.

An aerial view of a city square in Tegal, West Java, on March 22, 2020. The administration has closed road access into the city in an attempt to impose a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19An aerial view of a city square in Tegal, West Java, on March 22, 2020. The administration has closed road access into the city in an attempt to impose a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Antara/Oky Lukmansyah)

"We plan for a full lockdown. All borders will be closed for the safety of all,” said Tegal Mayor Dedy Yon Supriyono on Tuesday.

The mayor said the city was in “a state of emergency” following the confirmation of one COVID-19 case: a 34-year-old man with a recent travel history to Abu Dhabi and Jakarta before he returned home by train.

Dedy said he had contacted state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia to get information about passengers who were in the same car as the patient so that they could be quarantined and tested. In the meantime, the administration has blocked roads in the city.

Read also: Families start Idul Fitri ‘mudik’ early despite COVID-19 warning

Yogyakarta

Residents of Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, have limited access to several hamlets across the regency. For example, neighborhood units (RT) 01 and 02 of Randu hamlet in Hargobinangun village, Pakem district, blocked some roads to the neighborhood, leaving only two roads open.

Residents of Kali Tengah hamlet in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, also closed off roads leading to their neighborhood on Saturday, March 28, 2020.Residents of Kali Tengah hamlet in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, also closed off roads leading to their neighborhood on Saturday, March 28, 2020. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)

“We have blocked the road and put up a ‘lockdown’ sign here yesterday [Thursday],” RT 01 head Wantoro said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com. He added the road closure was initiated by the community.

Apart from keeping people from going in and out of the area, the community also urged residents living in other cities to refrain taking part in the holiday mudik (exodus), Wantoro said.

Sleman Regent Sri Purnomo said he appreciated the measures. (glh)