The Jakarta Post
The Surabaya municipal administration and two regencies of its greater metropolitan area, Gresik and Sidoarjo, decided on Sunday to apply to the Health Ministry for permission to impose the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said that the three regional administrations had agreed to apply to the ministry together to implement the PSBB during a two-hour closed-door meeting on Sunday afternoon at his residence in the provincial capital.
"The multilayered measures that we have all taken to contain COVID-19 [transmission] don't seem to be enough," Khofifah told reporters after the meeting.
Present at the meeting were acting Sidoarjo regent Nur Ahmad Syaifuddin, Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini and acting Gresik administrative secretary Muhammad Nadlif, as well as East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Lucky Hermawan and Brawijaya Military Command chief of staff Brig. Gen. Bambang Ismawan.
Khofifah said that the three administrations would be working with the East Java COVID-19 task force to draft their PSBB proposal for submitting to the Health Ministry for approval.
"At the same time, we are drafting a gubernatorial regulation on the PSBB so that once the Health Ministry grants the PSBB, we need only two or three days to inform the public before implementing it," she said.
Sidoarjo's Nur Ahmad told reporters that implementing the PSBB would mean that many factories in the regency would be prohibited from operating.
"The social and economic impacts of the PSBB will be bitter for all of us. But we must be brave in taking this correct but difficult decision if we want to stop this virus from spreading further," he said.
Surabaya Mayor Risma, however, declined to answer questions from reporters after the meeting and headed straight to her car.
East Java, home to around 40 million people, has the third highest COVID-19 tally in the country with 588 confirmed cases and 56 deaths as of Sunday. Surabaya is considered the epicenter of the outbreak in the province, with 299 confirmed cases and 31 deaths.
"The number of confirmed cases in Surabaya has doubled at least four times," Khofifah said, adding that the virus had spread to all 31 districts in the city.
Surabaya's close ties to Sidoarjo and Gresik meant that the PSBB should be implemented in the two regencies simultaneously, she added.
Sidoarjo regency borders the provincial capital on the southeast, while the regency of Gresik lies to the west.
Sidoarjo is the second hardest-hit regency in East Java with 57 confirmed cases and 6 deaths, while Gresik has the fourth highest tally in the province with 20 confirmed cases and two deaths.