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Jakarta Post

Less traffic, but violations reported: Greater Bandung’s first day of partial lockdown

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Thu, April 23, 2020   /   05:44 pm
Less traffic, but violations reported: Greater Bandung’s first day of partial lockdown A police officer gives a reprimand letter to drivers found to have violated large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday, April 22. (Antara/M. Agung Rajasa)

Traffic on the streets of Greater Bandung, which includes Bandung city and its surrounding areas in West Java, declined significantly during the first day of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), authorities claimed, although violations of protocols during the partial lockdown were reported.

“There was a decrease [in traffic] of up to 70 percent,” West Java's COVID-19 task force secretary Daud Achmad said following a field inspection with local officials on Wednesday.

The inspection, attended also by West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil and West Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi, took place at several entry points to Bandung, including the Pasteur toll gate on Jl. Raya Cimindi and Padalarang toll gate on Jl. Raya Wahid Hasyim, as well as the Cibeusi checkpoint that connects Bandung and Sumedang.

Bandung City Police Chief Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna reported that at least 15,000 cars and 25,000 motorcycles had entered the provincial capital on Wednesday by 12 p.m.

Despite the decline in traffic, Daud said the task force still recorded a number of violations of PSBB measures, such as people not wearing masks or gloves while driving and not adhering to the 50 percent occupancy limits for cars and motorcycles.

Read also: COVID-19: Surabaya 'plus two' to apply together for PSBB

The police issued at least 450 reprimand letters to drivers who violated the protocols, including motorcyclists carrying passengers and drivers carrying supplies without a travel permit.

Starting Wednesday, Bandung city and its surrounding areas, namely Cimahi city, Sumedang regency, Bandung Regency and West Bandung Regency, have imposed a two-week partial lockdown to restrict people's mobility with the goal of curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The metropolitan area has followed in the footsteps of Greater Jakarta, comprising the capital and its satellite cities and regencies, which were among the first regions in the country to enforce PSBB measures.

Bandung Mayor Oded M. Danial concurred with other officials, saying the majority of violations were motorcycle drivers carrying passengers.

Oded issued Regulation No. 14/2020 on PSBB measures, stipulating that drivers must wear masks and gloves and that private vehicles and app-based motorcycle taxis are prohibited from carrying passengers.

“Many motorcycle and car drivers wore masks, but we still need to monitor motorcyclists who are carrying passengers,” Oded said, adding that he had placed officers at 19 checkpoints in Bandung city.

Authorities also spotted some non-essential businesses still operating as usual, Daud said.

Read also: 'No choice but to keep economy running': Ministry allows 11,000 companies operate during PSBB

Based on The Jakarta Post's observations, secondhand car dealerships, souvenir shops and vehicle repair shops in Bandung were still open, although the stores appeared to be quiet.

The West Java provincial administration will instruct local administration's leaders to obtain data on companies and offices that are still allowed to operate during the partial lockdown so they could prevent people crowding on the streets when employees had to leave for work, Daud said.

“[The companies] should provide information on their employees who still need to be present at their workplaces. This is for business activities that are excluded [from operational restrictions] during the PSBB,” Daud said.

Daud said he would propose that local leaders at the neighborhood unit (RT) or community unit (RW) levels require residents to obtain permits if they wanted to travel or shop outside their neighborhood or community areas. (syk)