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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Health Ministry grants Jakarta’s request to impose large-scale social restrictions

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 7, 2020   /   12:46 pm
COVID-19: Health Ministry grants Jakarta’s request to impose large-scale social restrictions Indonesian Red Cross staff members prepare to sterilize Kemayoran athletes village in Jakarta prior to the opening of the COVID-19 emergency hospital in the complex on March 21, 2020. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The Health Ministry has approved the Jakarta administration's proposal to implement large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in the capital, the first region in the country to apply such a measure to tackle the largely unabated coronavirus disease.

Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto issued on Tuesday a ministerial decree concerning the approval, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, saying that the decision had been made following several considerations.

“Existing data show there has been a significant increase and rapid spread of COVID-19 cases, accompanied by local transmission occurrences in the province of Jakarta,” the decree read.

Based on the results of epidemiological studies and the consideration of regional preparedness in social, economic and other aspects, large-scale social restrictions need to be implemented in Jakarta to reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to the decree.

The considerations were taken in coordination with the national COVID-19 task force, the ministry’s head of media and public opinion Busroni said.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan could start managing the implementation in Jakarta according to his regional capacity once a permit letter was sent to the Jakarta administration on Tuesday,  Bursroni said.

Read also: Anies slams red tape in pandemic fight

According to Government Regulation No. 21/2020 on large-scale social restrictions, regional governments are required to obtain a permit from the Health Ministry to impose such physical distancing measures by submitting a proposal to the task force.

Anies proposed to the Health Ministry to impose large-scale social restrictions in Jakarta on Thursday as the pandemic continued to worsen in the capital city, the hardest-hit by the coronavirus in the archipelago.

“What we need is for the central government to hurry up to grant the status so we can issue regulations,” Anies said recently.

Large-scale social restrictions are regulated under the 2018 Health Quarantine Law, which stipulates that the measure includes suspending schools and offices, limiting religious activities and restricting gathering in public places.

Jakarta -- the country's epicenter of the outbreak -- has recorded 1,232 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, making up nearly half of the country's official tally of 2,491 infections as of Monday afternoon.

The capital recorded 99 fatalities from the disease out of a nationwide death toll of 209.