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Jakarta Post

Govt to enforce mandatory mask-wearing operation across Indonesia

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 11, 2020   /   08:12 am
Govt to enforce mandatory mask-wearing operation across Indonesia Volunteers wearing superhero costumes give away masks to road users in Makassar, South Sukawesi on Sept. 10, 2020 as part of a movement to promote mask-wearing to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Antara/Abriawan Abhe)

The government is currently preparing personnel from various institutions to jointly carry out an operation to ensure the implementation of the mask-wearing protocol in subdistricts and villages across Indonesia amid the current spike of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The operation will involve personnel from the Indonesian Military, the National Police, public order agencies (Satpol PP), as well as prosecutors and judges.

COVID-19 Response and National Economic Recovery Committee chairman Erick Thohir said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had directed that the country's 83,000 subdistricts and villages be at the forefront of COVID-19 management.

“Indeed, this won’t be easy. Sometimes there is a perception that the government wants to carry out repressive actions,” Erick, who is also the State-Owned Enterprises Minister, said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.id.

Read also: Wear your mask even if it's uncomfortable, Anies says

However, Erick said, community discipline needed to increase given that COVID-19 deaths and confirmed cases continued to rise.

He claimed that, despite the national case fatality rate continuing to fall, from 9 percent in April to 4 percent in September, the figure was still higher than the global rate, which stands at 3.27 percent.

National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Gatot Eddy Pramono said what would help to enforce community discipline regarding mask-wearing this time was the involvement of prosecutors and judges in order to take a stricter approach toward violators.

Gatot, who is also the deputy head of the national COVID-19 recovery committee, further said the joint officers would coordinate with regional governments to map the areas prone to infection, including markets and offices and conduct surveillance around the clock.

However, he said community figures could also be involved under the direction of national security personnel. If they failed, he added, the government would step in with the operation. (syk)