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Jakarta Post

Thousands rebuked, 16 face trial for violating PSBB in Pekanbaru

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru   /   Fri, May 1, 2020   /   12:31 pm
Thousands rebuked, 16 face trial for violating PSBB in Pekanbaru Officials from Riau province's communications and information agency wear superhero costumes to raise awareness on the prevention of COVID-19 transmission at a market in Pekanbaru, Riau, on April 23. (Antara/Rony Muharrman)

At least 16 people have undergone speedy trials and been fined for committing “intolerable mistakes” during the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Pekanbaru, while thousands of others have been reprimanded for violating the policy that aims to cut the transmission chain of COVID-19.

The Pekanbaru Police said on Thursday that they had recorded 14,441 violations since the PSBB was imposed on April 17.

“The sanctions issued to violators range from warnings, tickets and sending them to trial,” Pekanbaru Police chief Sr. Comr. Nandang Mu’min Wijaya said on Thursday.

Some of the violators were rebuked for, among other things, not wearing a face mask, using a private vehicle with number of passengers exceeding the limit and opening businesses without complying with health protocols. 

Nandang said 16 of the violators stood speedy trial and received punishment.

Read also: COVID-19: Pekanbaru first area in Sumatra granted request to impose large-scale social restrictions

Violator Rubahri Purba, for instance, was caught operating his internet cafe on April 18 after previously being reprimanded by authorities. Rubahri was fined Rp 750,000 (US$50) in a speedy trial for light offenses on Wednesday.

Another 15 violators were a group of young residents who held a birthday party in a karaoke parlor at around 11 p.m., while the city's PSBB required that people refrain from partaking in unessential activities outside their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The presiding judge fined 14 of the 15 violators Rp 800,000 each. The initiator of the party, meanwhile, was fined Rp 3 million.

They were all charged under Article 216 of the Criminal Code and Pekanbaru Mayoral Decree No. 74/2020 on PSBB.

"The law enforcement serves as a last resort in dealing with PSBB violators," Nandang said, adding that authorities would continue to monitor people in hopes of preventing the further spread of COVID-19. (vny)