The Jakarta Post
The West Java COVID-19 rapid response task force is mulling a plan to set up 24-hour checkpoints in the region to prevent mudik (exodus) travelers prior to the upcoming Idul Fitri holiday.
Task force secretary Daud Achmad said the roads connecting Jakarta and West Java were relatively empty during the day when authorities stood by at the established checkpoints. However, the roads started to get crowded during the night as the checkpoints were lifted.
"We find, after conducting evaluations, that [private vehicles] are using the roads at night. We certainly don't want this to happen," Daud said in a teleconference on Wednesday, adding that authorities would work harder to make the establishment of checkpoints effective.
West Java is the region second-worst hit by COVID-19 in Indonesia, with 1,009 confirmed cases as of Wednesday afternoon and 79 fatalities. The country's COVID-19 epicenter is Jakarta with 4,092 cases and 370 deaths so far.
To contain the further spread of the disease, the government has banned the mudik prior to the most-celebrated Islamic holiday, which usually sees millions of people traveling from urban centers to their hometowns.
Some checkpoints have been prepared in areas surrounding Jakarta ‒ including Tangerang in Banten, as well as Bekasi, Bogor, Sukabumi and Cikampek in West Java ‒ to prevent people from leaving or entering the capital.
Among the checkpoints are at the Puncak Pass, a tourist destination bordering Bogor regency and Cianjur in West Java, and the Kilometer-31 point on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road, which is on the border of Bekasi and Karawang.
Authorities are deployed at the checkpoints to inspect vehicles passing through the area. Private vehicles leaving Jakarta are asked to return to the capital, while freight vehicles are allowed to pass. (vny)