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Jakarta Post

Bekasi imposes curfew after spike in COVID-19 cases

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 2, 2020   /   03:28 pm
Bekasi imposes curfew after spike in COVID-19 cases Patients wearing protective face masks exercise at the Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium, which has been converted into a quarantine house during the COVID-19 outbreak in Bekasi, West Java, on Sept. 28. (REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

Bekasi in West Java will impose a curfew starting on Friday to limit people’s movements amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The city administration has issued a decree ordering public spaces like shopping centers, restaurants and other entertainment facilities such as pubs and karaoke bars to close at 6 p.m., Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said in the decree issued on Tuesday.

“We decided to implement a curfew after seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in both the national and regional levels.” 

He revealed that the city had recorded more than 3,300 positive cases so far, with at least 111 fatalities, reported.

Neighboring Bogor and Depok in West Java have enforced a similar policy in hopes of curbing the rapid transmission rate.

Read also: COVID-19: Health of 25 million toddlers at risk as Posyandu disrupted by pandemic

Both cities started implementing curfews in late August, requiring businesses to stop operation at 6 p.m. and prohibiting outdoor activities after 8 p.m.

Experts, however, have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of a curfew in slowing down COVID-19 transmission, saying that people could also contract the disease during the daytime as the public continued to neglect health protocols.

“The most important thing is that people wear masks, maintain a physical distance and wash their hands regularly,” said Syahrizal Syarif, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia. 

He further advised local authorities to do more in promoting health protocols and begin imposing heavier sanctions against those found violating the rules.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil previously revealed that nearly 70 percent of COVID-19 cases in the province had come from Jakarta’s satellite areas of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi, often referred to Bodebek.

Ridwan, therefore, decided to open an office in Depok to “focus on handling those areas”. 

The governor, who used to spend most of his time in the provincial capital of Bandung, will be in Bodebek once or twice a week starting from October. (Vny)