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Jakarta Post

President seeking to shorten year-end long holiday, says minister

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 24, 2020   /   12:59 pm
President seeking to shorten year-end long holiday, says minister Visitors stroll around the famous Malioboro tourist site in Yogyakarta on Oct. 30. As the government extended a holiday celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which fell on Oct. 29, 2020, visitors flocked to tourist destinations all over the country. (Antara/Andreas Fitri Atmoko)

President Joko “Jokowi’ Widodo has instructed his subordinates to cut the 2020 year-end holiday short to curb COVID-19 transmission, a minister has said.

Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy revealed the instruction at a press conference after attending a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

“The President has requested a reduction [in collective leave days] in regard to the year-end holiday, including the substitute leave days for Idul Fitri,” Muhadjir said on Monday as quoted by tribunnews.com.

He went on to say that the President had also told his ministry to organize a meeting in relation to the matter with several ministries and government institutions.

Previously, the government had decided to reschedule the Idul Fitri collective leave, which was initially set for May 26 to 29, to this year’s end, from Dec. 28 to 31, due to an alarming rise in COVID-19 transmission earlier in the year.

The decision on the collective leave is stipulated in a joint decree on 2020 public holiday and collective leave that was signed by the religious affairs, manpower and administrative and bureaucratic reform ministers.

The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has also stated its concerns about possible unfavorable outcomes from the upcoming year-end holiday and collective leave. The association suggested the government cancel the planned holidays altogether, if necessary.

“It is the IDI’s suggestion [to cancel the year end’s collective leave plan], especially as we all witnessed high virus transmissions following the long weekends in August and October,” said IDI chief Daeng M. Faqih as quoted by kompas.id.

Separately, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said last week that there was no change in the upcoming collecting leave plans, thus far.

He further said that he awaited respective decisions made by Muhadjir and Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah on the matter.

The national COVID-19 task force chief, Doni Monardo, had previously said that he would suggest the government cancel the year-end collective leave should confirmed cases continue to increase. Tjahjo agreed on Doni’s stance.

Indonesia recorded the highest case surge in a single day at 5,444 on Nov. 13, approximately two weeks after the country enjoyed the late October long weekend.

Meanwhile, the task force’s data and information technology head, Dewi Nur Aisyah, said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday that it had received more reports of health-protocol violations during the long weekend, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, compared with normal days.

The reports were submitted by field officers, which comprise personnel from the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police and Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), in 407 regencies and cities, as well as 34 provinces. 

Based on the data, in 600,000 cases per day people were discovered to have violated the health protocols at tourist spots during the holiday. Moreover, the data also showed that over 1 million people at tourist spots were monitored for violating the protocols.

Dewi said the rate of adherence to the mask-wearing policy on Oct. 21, a week before the holiday, was 88.62 percent. However, this figure declined to 88.5 percent on Oct. 28. (nkn)

Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.