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Jakarta Post

Jakarta ready to welcome 'new normal' soon, minister says

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 28, 2020   /   02:47 pm
Jakarta ready to welcome 'new normal' soon, minister says Indonesian Army personnel guard the entrance of Bundaran HI MRT station in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. Starting on Tuesday, military and police officers have been deployed to oversee public compliance with health protocols in 1,800 public facilities in 25 regencies and cities in four provinces as Indonesia plans to embrace a “new normal” to coexist with COVID-19. (Antara/Aprillio Akbar)

Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto has suggested that several regions, including Jakarta, might be ready to welcome the so-called "new normal" phase as they have shown a decline in COVID-19 transmissions.

Citing National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) data, Airlangga said the spread of the disease had slowed in Central Java, Bali, Jakarta and Yogyakarta, where the basic reproduction number (R0) of COVID-19 had fallen below 1.

Some areas in Sumatra, including Aceh, West Sumatra, Riau and Bangka Belitung, as well as some provinces in Sulawesi and Kalimantan have also seen an R0 of below 1, Airlangga said, adding that "the trend keeps decreasing".

"Based on Bappenas data regarding R0, some areas are ready [to welcome a new normal], including Aceh, Riau [...] as well as Jakarta, by the end of their large-scale social restriction periods on June 4," Airlangga said.

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

The capital, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, has imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) since April 10 and has since extended the policy twice to curb the spread of the contagious disease.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, however, previously refuted a claim that the city was going to reopen shopping centers in early June, citing the potential to extend the PSBB. 

Bappenas chairman Suharso Monoarfa previously stated that Jakarta had the potential to become a model for the “new normal”, saying the capital had met all the requirements.

Suharso also said that Jakarta's R0 of COVID-19 had already fallen below 1, indicating low transmission. The capital also has more hospital beds for COVID-19 treatment than the number of new cases that require hospital care and conducted swab tests on more than 1,000 per 1 million people as required by the World Health Organization.