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Jakarta Post

Buses still able to leave and enter Jakarta despite calls for quarantine

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 30, 2020   /   08:42 pm
Buses still able to leave and enter Jakarta despite calls for quarantine Travelers arrive at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in Jakarta on June 8, 2019. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Bus routes connecting Jakarta and other cities and provinces will remain open following the cancellation of a plan to temporarily suspend operations of Greater Jakarta-based intercity and interprovincial (AKAP) buses.

“We need a letter from the Transportation Ministry’s Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency [BPTJ] to implement the plan, but we have not received the letter to date,” Jakarta Transportation agency head Syafrin Liputo told The Jakarta Post via phone Monday afternoon.

He confirmed that without the letter, the Greater-Jakarta based AKAP buses could still leave and enter the city.

On Sunday, the agency decided to prevent residents in the capital from leaving the city by suspending the service of AKAP buses as well as tourist buses starting at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Syafrin said on Sunday the agency would monitor AKAP bus stops, such as Kalideres terminal in Cengkareng, West Jakarta; Tanjung Priok terminal in North Jakarta; and Kampung Rambutan terminal in Cipayung and Pulogebang terminal in Cakung, East Jakarta, to ensure the suspension of operations was enforced.

The decision was made following reports that thousands of people were leaving the capital for their hometowns, a tradition known as mudik (exodus), despite the government's warnings against it, risking the further transmission of COVID-19.

Read also: Jokowi refuses to impose lockdown on Jakarta

The agency also consulted 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.

However, Syafrin asserted that implementation of the policy required the government’s approval through the BPTJ.

The Jakarta administration has extended the capital’s emergency status to April 19 as the spread of the virus in capital — the nation's epicenter of the outbreak — continues unabated.

Health experts and analysts have called for a quarantine in the capital city to curb the transmission of the virus, as increasing numbers of positive cases detected in others regions are found to have been imported from Greater Jakarta.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, however, remained adamant a quarantine would not be imposed. Instead, he called on Monday for the implementation of "large-scale social restrictions" as outlined in the 2018 Health Quarantine Law and asserted that declaring a lockdown was the sole authority of the central government.

As of Monday, Indonesia had reported 1,414 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 698 of which were recorded in Jakarta. A total of 122 people have died from the disease. (aly)