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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Surabaya, two East Java regencies to impose partial lockdown

  • Asip Hasani

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya, East Java   /   Sat, April 25, 2020   /   08:45 am
COVID-19: Surabaya, two East Java regencies to impose partial lockdown People wait to buy subsidized groceries at a warehouse while observing social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Surabaya, East Java, on April 22. (AFP/JUNI KRISWANTO )

Surabaya and the neighboring regencies of Sidoarjo and Gresik in East Java are to impose a two-week partial lockdown starting Tuesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa recently issued a gubernatorial regulation on the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for the provincial capital and the two regencies following approval from the Health Ministry.

"The dissemination of the regulation to the public will take three days and, Insya Allah [God willing], the PSBB will be effective starting Tuesday," Khofifah told a press conference on Thursday evening.

Khofifah announced the decision following a meeting with officials from the city and the two regencies, including Surabaya administration secretary Hendro Gunawan, acting Sidoarjo regent Nur Ahmad and Gresik deputy regent Moh Qosim.

Also present at the meeting were East Java Legislative Council (DPRD) speaker Kusnadi, East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan and Brawijaya Military commander Maj. Gen. Widodo Iryansyah. 

The governor asserted that the partial lockdown, which is scheduled to end on May 11, could be extended by another 14 days.

Surabaya is the hardest-hit region in East Java with 326 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 40 fatalities, followed by Sidoarjo with at least 71 cases and six fatalities. Meanwhile, Gresik recorded 21 confirmed cases and two fatalities.

Read also: 'Severe red zone': East Java scrambles to contain COVID-19 spread at Islamic boarding school

According to the government's tally, East Java recorded 690 positive cases and 67 deaths linked to COVID-19 as of Friday.

While Surabaya and Sidoarjo would impose the PSBB policy throughout their jurisdictions, Gresik was set to implement the partial lockdown in only eight of its 18 districts, Qosim said.

"We will impose PSBB only in the districts identified as [COVID-19] red zones," Qosim said.

Kusnadi said the decision to enforce PSBB measures in the three regions had won full support from East Java's DPRD. 

He went on to remind the local administrations to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the PSBB in flattening the curve of coronavirus transmission, adding that they should take into account Jakarta's experience in implementing a partial lockdown.

The capital city, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia, has put in place PSBB restrictions for two weeks now and is set to continue imposing strong restrictions to limit people's mobility for another 28 days.

Kusnadi reminded authorities that the partial lockdown should be strictly enforced, lest the effort be fruitless.

"Dealing with mass prayers during Ramadan will be the hardest challenge," he said.