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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: We need stricter rules to limit movement, President says

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 30, 2020   /   01:50 pm
COVID-19: We need stricter rules to limit movement, President says President of Indonesia Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for stricter rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the government mulls over a local quarantine policy that would allow local administrations to ban people from traveling to and from their respective areas.

“I see that governors have appealed to migrants in Greater Jakarta not to travel home. I ask for this to be intensified again. Such an appeal is not enough. More stringent steps are needed to close the COVID-19 transmission chain,” the President said in the introductory statement of a limited meeting on Monday.

Jokowi said he had received a number of reports, including those from the governors of Central Java and Yogyakarta, that the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) had begun early. 

“Many people traveling is very risky for the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

He said many informal workers in Greater Jakarta had traveled to the provinces of West Java, Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta since Jakarta announced its emergency status.

Read also: Indonesia may ban Idul Fitri exodus to stop COVID-19 transmission

Over the past eight days, there were 876 inter-provincial buses carrying approximately 14,000 passengers from Greater Jakarta the provinces, excluding those who traveled using other transportation modes, he added.

“For the safety of all, I ask for more stringent steps to prevent the movement of people to the regions,” the President said.

The President also demanded the acceleration of social safety net programs to provide social protection for informal and daily workers, as well as economic incentives for small businesses.

He also asked the local administrations to apply health protocols to ensure that people who had traveled to their hometowns were in good health.

The government is drafting a regulation to stipulate the procedures for imposing regional quarantines as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in the country.

A Cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday is expected to decide the plan that will be majorly imposed in Greater Jakarta.

As of Sunday, Indonesia has recorded 1,285 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 114 deaths. Jakarta dominates with 675 cases and 68 deaths.