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Jakarta Post

No access limitation to or from Jakarta despite social restrictions, police say

  • Sausan Atika and Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 7, 2020   /   04:24 pm
No access limitation to or from Jakarta despite social restrictions, police say A banner declaring self-quarantine measures put in place by residents is seen in front of a neighborhood in Halim Perdanakusuma, East Java, on Monday. Residents have urged people not to pass through the area or visit their homes in an attempt to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The Jakarta Police have asserted that there will be no limitation on travel to or from Jakarta, the country’s COVID-19 epicenter, despite the upcoming implementation of large-scale social restrictions in the capital city.

"The Health Ministry's regulation on large-scale social restriction doesn't mention or describe such access limitation," Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo said on Tuesday.

He added that the policy only required authorities to limit the number of passengers using private cars and public transportation, including city buses and commuter trains.

Jakarta became the first region in the country to implement social restrictions to curb the transmission of COVID-19 after the Health Ministry approved the provincial administration’s proposal on Tuesday.

The ministry wrote in a ministerial decree that data had shown a significant increase in, and a rapid spread of, COVID-19 cases, accompanied by evidence of local transmission in Jakarta. Therefore, large-scale social restrictions were deemed necessary to flatten the contagion curve.

Read also: COVID-19: Anies slams Health Ministry’s requirements for large-scale social restrictions

The Jakarta Police are waiting for either the Transportation Ministry or the city Transportation Agency to issue further regulations detailing public transportation limitations.

"We will only move based on regulations," said Sambodo.

A 2020 Government Regulation on social restrictions requires regional administrations to submit a proposal to the government’s COVID-19 task force and obtain a permit from the Health Ministry before imposing such measures. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan applied for the restrictions last Thursday.

Health authorities in Jakarta had confirmed more than 1,200 COVID-19 cases as of Monday afternoon, making up nearly half the country’s official tally of 2,738 infections. There were more than 100 fatalities from the disease in the capital city out of a nationwide death toll of 221.

Concerns are mounting about the potential wider spread of COVID-19 if authorities remain reluctant to impose lockdowns in several red zones in the country as millions of people return to their hometowns for the annual Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).