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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Jakarta to suspend interprovincial buses as 'mudik' persists

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, March 29, 2020   /   07:45 pm
COVID-19: Jakarta to suspend interprovincial buses as 'mudik' persists Two children wait for their bus to depart for their parents' hometown at the Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in East Jakarta on May 28, 2019. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The Jakarta Transportation Agency plans to temporarily suspend the operation of Greater Jakarta-based intercity and interprovincial (AKAP) buses starting at 6 p.m. on Monday.

The decision was made following reports that thousands of residents were leaving the capital for their hometowns, risking the further spread of COVID-19.

"We have agreed to anticipate the movement of people in Greater Jakarta and [prevent them] from leaving the city," agency head Syafrin Liputo told The Jakarta Post in a telephone interview on Sunday.  "We are also advising the public not to make any trips using the interprovincial and intercity buses."

Syafrin said the agency would monitor interprovincial and intercity bus stops, such as Kalideres terminal in Cengkareng district, West Jakarta; Tanjung Priok terminal in North Jakarta; Kampung Rambutan terminal in Cipayung district; and Pulogebang terminal in Cakung district, East Jakarta, to ensure that the suspension of service was enforced.

Syafrin said the decision was made on Sunday after consulting the Transportation Ministry's land transportation director general, the Public Works and Housing Ministry's highways director general, the Toll Road Management Agency head and the Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency head.

The decision came a day after the Jakarta administration extended the capital's emergency status through April 19, as the outbreak remained largely unabated.

To curb the spread of the disease, both the government and the Jakarta administration have discouraged residents in the capital from leaving the city for their hometowns, a tradition known as mudik (exodus).

However, thousands of people have ignored the government's travel warning.

The central government is expected to make a decision whether to put Jakarta under a local quarantine or strengthen the current mudik warning after a meeting scheduled to take place on Monday, according to Transportation Ministry land transportation director general Budi Setiyadi.

"We are waiting for the central government's decision on local quarantine. But Jakarta is ready to implement any decision," said Syafrin.

As of Sunday, Indonesia had reported 1,285 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 675 of which were located in Jakarta. (dfr)