As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread across the country, some regions have decided to impose a curfew to restrict social activities and the further spread of the virus that causes the disease.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Tuesday declared a public health emergency and imposed large-scale social restrictions to respond to the escalating figures of the outbreak on Indonesian soil. At the same time, he called on regional administrations to adhere to government policy and "not make policies of their own".
The port city of Balikpapan in East Kalimantan has enacted a curfew from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. Central Indonesia Time (WITA). The curfew also applies to seven thoroughfares in densely populated residential areas, which will also be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m every day.
“We are doing this to protect the residents,” Balikpapan Mayor Rizal Effendi said on Tuesday. “They are prohibited from doing [any] activities outside their homes.” The city reported 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of a provincial total of 20 confirmed cases.
The mayor said that people in an emergency situation, such as those needing medical attention and those tending to a sick family member, would be exempted from the scheduled road closures. Online food delivery services, such as GoFood and Grab Food, were also exempt.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Military (TNI), National Police (Polri), Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), the local health agency, the Indonesian Red Cross and the COVID-19 task force were permitted to use the roads at all hours of the day and night.
Aside from Balikpapan, kompas.com also reported other regions that had enforced a curfew, including Sikka regency in East Nusa Tenggara. Individuals caught violating the curfew, which starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m., would be fined Rp 1 million (US$60.23). As of Tuesday, the province has yet to report a positive COVID-19 case.
“The Regency Regulation is ready and is awaiting the regent’s signature. He is expected to sign it today,” Sikka Health Office head Petrus Herlemus said on Monday. He added that residents could request exceptions from the local COVID-19 task force.
The port city of Pekalongan in Central Java has also decided to enforce a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., effective April 1. The province has recorded 93 cases to date.
Pekalongan Mayor M. Saelany Machfudz said that the administration had decided to enforce a curfew because most residents had ignored the government’s appeal to stay at home.
All public activities were prohibited and stores must be closed during the curfew. The city administration also planned to set up a joint team to patrol the streets.
Meanwhile, Aceh province on Sunday enforced a curfew from 8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. that is to last until April 29, according to a signed public notice from Aceh Governor Nova Iriansyah. The province has recorded five confirmed cases to date.
All residents in the province must stay at home while the curfew is in effect.
“Everything is written [in the notice], and we expect it to proceed as it should,” said Aceh COVID-19 task force spokesperson Saifullah Abdulgani.
Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara has enforced a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the next two weeks, according to a city official.
Mataram administration assistant secretary Lalu Martawang noted on Sunday that the residents of the provincial capital generally headed out to night hangouts for leisure.
“We are therefore restricting [the practice] by enforcing this curfew and thank God, it has received a very positive response,” he said, adding that the administration would be deploying a joint patrol during the curfew. (mfp)