The Jakarta Post
Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who is also the Yogyakarta governor, has threatened to close Jl. Malioboro after seeing people gathered in the popular tourist destination without complying with COVID-19 health protocols.
"On Sunday night I passed by Jl. Malioboro and I saw a lot of residents gathered around the area, chatting without wearing masks," the sultan said on Monday, adding that they also did not adhere to the physical-distancing policy.
He said he had coordinated with Yogyakarta officials to ensure that people who visited the tourist area, as well as residents in general, complied with strict health protocols to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The sultan also raised concerns about possible transmission, saying that it would be difficult for health authorities to carry out contact tracing if someone contracted the disease in the tourist area as many visitors came from outside Yogyakarta.
"We don't want a second wave of COVID-19 to happen in Yogyakarta. We need to prevent that," he said as quoted by kompas.com, "Don't make me have to close [Jl. Malioboro]. I ask all visitors to follow health protocols."
Hamengkubuwono said the authorities would remove people from the street who did not obey health protocols, such as not wearing masks or violating physical-distancing measures, saying that the risks entailed in not implementing precautionary measures were “too great".
The sultan also called for street vendors and store owners in Malioboro to wear face masks and provide hand-washing facilities.
As of Monday, Yogyakarta had recorded 247 cases of COVID-19 with eight fatalities and 185 recoveries. (nal)