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Jakarta Post

Satellite cities to follow Jakarta’s lead on large-scale social restrictions

  • Sausan Atika and Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 8, 2020   /   07:12 pm
Satellite cities to follow Jakarta’s lead on large-scale social restrictions Police officers practice physical distancing at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. The Jakarta administration will implement large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on Friday in order to speed up the mitigation of the COVID-19 outbreak. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The leaders of Greater Jakarta’s satellite cities have agreed to impose large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in their respective regions after Jakarta, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, got the nod from the Health Ministry to implement further restrictions.

Greater Jakarta includes South Tangerang, Tangerang municipality and Tangerang regency in Banten, as well as Depok, Bekasi municipality, Bekasi regency, Bogor municipality and Bogor regency in West Java. It covers an area occupied by around 30 million residents, many of whom, under normal circumstances, commute to the capital for work.

Several Greater Jakarta mayors and regents previously held back from imposing PSBB measures even after Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan suggested on April 2 that the central government issue a distinct COVID-19 mitigation policy for the wider region.

Anies said at the time that the PSBB policy for Jakarta should also apply to its satellite cities, as the outbreak had affected the entire region.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Tuesday that the five municipalities and regencies that are part of Greater Jakarta — Bekasi municipality, Bekasi regency, Bogor municipality, Bogor regency, and Depok municipality — would submit PSBB a request with the Health Ministry.

“Policy decisions related to the handling of COVID-19 can’t be taken using a sectoral approach, it should instead take a cluster approach. The Jakarta administration, West Java and Banten must be united in implementing the policies,” Ridwan said on his official Facebook account.

“Should [the PSBB request] for the five regions be approved by the Health Minister, we would sync up our policies to strengthen and protect one another.”

Banten Governor Wahidin Halim also said that Tangerang regency, Tangerang municipality and South Tangerang municipality — three satellite cities under the Banten administrative region — would request PSBB status from Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto.

He urged the relevant mayors and regents to coordinate their policies with Jakarta, having agreed that Greater Jakarta as a whole should implement such measures in lockstep.

The Jakarta administration is set to tighten measures to restrict people’s movements beginning on Friday, in accordance with the PSBB status. In the absence of a special regulation that has yet to be signed as of the time of writing, Anies has shed some light on some of the key provisions.

Starting on Friday, gatherings of more than five people will be prohibited, public transportation services will halve their normal passenger capacity and limit operations from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The governor assured that private vehicles could still enter Jakarta, but an undetermined limit will be imposed on the number of passengers allowed in each vehicle.

Furthermore, eight essential industry sectors will remain fully operational to cater to the everyday needs of the public for as long as the emergency status is in place. This includes companies and organizations in the health, food and beverages, energy, communications, finances, logistics, retail and strategic sectors in the capital.

In addition, non-government organizations that manage relief operations related to ongoing mitigation efforts will also be allowed to carry on with their activities.

The PSBB status in Jakarta will be effective until April 24 — the provisional date for the start of the Muslim fasting month — but can be extended should the coronavirus continue to spread.

Several regional leaders of Greater Jakarta, including South Tangerang Deputy Mayor Benyamin Davnie, Bogor Deputy Mayor Dedie A. Rachim and Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi, told The Jakarta Post they were preparing to fulfill the provisions required to warrant a PSBB status from the central government.

Neither has confirmed the kind of measures that would be applied in their respective regions, but they have called on their residents not to go to the capital city, especially after the PSBB status kicks in.

On Wednesday evening, Anies said he had maintained communication with the governors of West Java and Banten, as well as the regional leaders of the satellite cities, after a teleconference meeting to discuss coordination of the PSBB status in Greater Jakarta.

“It has become the epicenter [of the disease outbreak], so we require synchronized measures. What we [the Jakarta administration] have done will be made available as a reference,” he said in a press conference.

Anies also said he was waiting to sign the forthcoming gubernatorial decree formalizing the new quarantine status, pending a central government decision on provisions for app-based ride-hailing services.

Health Ministerial Decree No. 9/2020 stipulates that app-based ride-hailing services may only transport goods and are prohibited from transporting people.

Meanwhile, epidemiologist Pandu Riono of the University of Indonesia told the Post that any measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the capital would only be effective if applied equally to the rest of Greater Jakarta.

“[COVID-19] is centered in Greater Jakarta due to the mobility of its people, so measures taken should be in lockstep with one another,” Pandu told the Post on Tuesday.

The extent of implementing large-scale social restrictions could vary depending on each region's capabilities, but Pandu suggested that it should gradually intensify over time.

“Each region may implement measures based on their [resources] and transmission rate and in a gradual manner, but they should be done in concert because our country has refused to impose a full lockdown,” he said.

While Greater Jakarta scrambles to impose large-scale social restriction measures, considered by some observers as a de facto partial lockdown, other regions such as Sorong and Fakfak in West Papua, as well as Mimika in Papua province, have also requested the PSBB status, said Achmad Yurianto, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson for the COVID-19 response team.