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Jakarta Post

That's made up: Anies refutes business group's claim about reopening of malls

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 27, 2020   /   01:39 pm
That's made up: Anies refutes business group's claim about reopening of malls Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan (center), accompanied by Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Nana Sudjana (left) and Kodam Jaya military commander Maj. Gen. Eko Margiyono, announces the extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency during a press briefing at City Hall on March 28. (Courtesy of/Jakarta provincial adminsitration)

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has refuted the Jakarta Indonesian Shopping Center Association’s (APPBI) claim that shopping malls will reopen in early June, citing the potential to extend the capital's large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

Anies said the third phase of restriction implementation in Jakarta, which will run until June 4, could be extended if deemed necessary. 

"So if anyone says the malls will open on June 5, that's made up, it's fiction," Anies told the press on Tuesday night.

"No regulation has been issued that says the PSBB [in Jakarta] has ended.”

Anies added that the reopening date of malls in Jakarta would depend on the results of the third phase of Jakarta’s PSBB evaluation, which would be conducted on Friday. He expected the results to come out early next week.

"It could be extended, it could also end. It would neither depend on the government nor experts but the behavior of all of us. If people can control themselves and the virus reproduction level drops to below 1, then the PSBB could end on June 4," he explained.

Read also: 'I don't think we can wait': Business groups ready for 'new normal' despite risks

APPBI Jakarta chapter chairwoman Ellen Hidayat previously said 60 malls in the capital would reopen for business on June 5 and four others would reopen on June 8, in line with the Jakarta gubernatorial regulation on PSBB extension, which will end on June 4.

Despite saying businesses should wait for the evaluation, Anies stated that he had prepared a “new normal” guideline if the city administration decided not to extend the PSBB. He went on to say that he had also collaborated with several epidemiologists in developing the “new normal” guideline for Jakartans.

“The coverage will range from economic, religious, social and cultural activities so we can live our lives while preventing the spread of the virus,” he said, adding that he would announce the guideline on the same day as the PSBB evaluation results.

National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) chairman Suharso Monoarfa previously stated that Jakarta had the potential to become a model for the “new normal”, saying Jakarta had met the requirements.

Suharso said there were three criteria for regions to become a model, namely, their basic reproduction number (R0) of COVID-19 should fall below 1.0 for two consecutive weeks, a bigger maximum capacity of hospital beds for COVID-19 treatment than the number of new cases that require hospital care and a swab test capacity of at least 3,500 per 1 million population.

As part of the plan to gradually loosen the PSBB, police and military personnel will be deployed to monitor the situation starting on Tuesday in Jakarta, West Java, West Sumatra and Gorontalo provinces. 

Read also: Concerns mount over reopening of offices, malls as Indonesia steps into 'new normal'

Up to 340,000 officers will be posted at 1,800 public spaces to enforce the limitation of large gatherings and ensure modes of public transportation and commercial areas operate at only 50 percent capacity, according to Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto.

A shopping mall that can accommodate 1,000 people, for instance, will only be allowed to hold 500 people.