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Jakarta Post

102 areas with zero COVID-19 cases allowed to start 'new normal'

  • Dyaning Pangestika
    Dyaning Pangestika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 1, 2020   /   12:25 pm
102 areas with zero COVID-19 cases allowed to start 'new normal' Residents buy fish at Peunayung traditional market in Banda Aceh on May 27. (Antara/Ampelsa)

Some 100 regencies and municipalities labeled as green zones and have not been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can start “new-normal” measures, the government has announced.

“President [Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] ordered the national COVID-19 task force to allow 102 regions to conduct productive and safe public activities,” task force chief Doni Monardo said in a televised conference on Saturday.

These include 14 areas in Aceh, 15 in North Sumatra, three in Riau Islands, four in South Sumatra, 14 in East Nusa Tenggara, one in Central Java, five in Southeast Sulawesi and 17 in Papua. They have recorded zero cases of COVID-19.

Areas categorized as yellow zones have a low COVID-19 risk, orange zones have a moderate COVID-19 risk and red zones a high risk of the disease.

Read also: Jakarta ready to welcome 'new normal' soon, minister says

Still, Doni urged the COVID-19-free areas to maintain strict health protocols to further prevent transmission. He added that cities and agencies that decide to reopen and resume economic activities must involve experts, the medical sector and prominent community figures in their decision-making process.

According to the COVID-19 task force’s expert staff chief, Wiku Adisasmito, the 102 regencies and cities have fulfilled the government’s criteria for reopening.

For a region to reopen and loosen large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), they must meet 11 indicators.

 “We are using criteria from epidemiologists, as well as public health surveillance and health services, with recommendations from the World Health Organization,” Wiku said.

The indicators for public health services as recommended by the WHO included decreasing the number of positive cases within two weeks after the latest peak, decreasing the death toll from positive cases and probable cases, decreasing the number of positive patients treated in hospitals, an increasing number of recovered patients and a less than 5 percent positivity rate (out of 5 percent positive samples).