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Jakarta Post

Jakartans hit streets on first Car Free Day since start of PSBB, raising concerns of new outbreak

  • Rizki Fachriansyah
    Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 21, 2020   /   06:09 pm
Jakartans hit streets on first Car Free Day since start of PSBB, raising concerns of new outbreak

Netizens have raised concerns over public health as images and videos of large crowds inundating the streets of Central Jakarta on the first Car Free Day (CFD) following months of large-scale restrictions (PSBB) spread on social media.

CFD had been suspended since March 15 as part of the city administration’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Internet personality and television host Gemala Hanafiah posted on her official Twitter page a video showing a large number of people walking and cycling near the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle on Jl. Thamrin on Sunday.

“CFD in Jakarta has returned this morning,” @g_hanafiah tweeted.

Another Twitter user, @adriansyahyasin, shared a series of photos showing a crowd of cyclists and joggers on Jl. Sudirman, while saying the lack of proper public spaces in the capital city had left most people with no other choice but to gather in a single location just to exercise.

“A crowded CFD proves that Jakarta lacks public spaces, so much so that everyone had to flock here […] or to the GBK [Gelora Bung Karno sports complex] just to exercise,” he wrote in the caption of the post.

Fellow netizens have since conveyed their concerns about the risks of coronavirus transmission on CFD, with some even speculating that the weekly event could turn into a new outbreak cluster due to the lax implementation of physical distancing measures.

"It's Car Free Day, not COVID free day, good people," @rayafahreza tweeted.

Other Twitter users said that it was hard to blame residents for wanting to go outdoors.

"One the one hand, I'm very worried that the virus will spread to many people seeing how big the crowd is, but on the other hand, they must be so bored at home," @huxleyycallum wrote. 

The Jakarta Police have deployed personnel on Jl. Thamrin to ensure that residents obey health protocols such as wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said last Sunday that the administration would resume the weekly CFD. However, activities during the transitional PSBB period would be restricted to bicycle riding and outdoor exercise, with street vendors prohibited from operating.

According to the official government count, Jakarta had 9,971 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 586 deaths as of Sunday.