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Jakarta Post

Another PSBB extension in Jakarta draws mixed reactions

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 9, 2020   /   06:05 pm
Another PSBB extension in Jakarta draws mixed reactions A health worker takes a COVID-19 swab sample during a recent testing program at the Kebayoran Lama community health center in South Jakarta. Testing is the only proven method of detecting the disease, a type of severe acute respiratory infection. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s decision to extend the transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) policy for another 14 days has raised mixed reactions from the public.

Griffith University epidemiologist Dicky Budiman said extending the PSBB was indeed part of Jakarta’s strategy to fight against the pandemic. 

In addition to extending the restrictions, Dicky also suggested the city’s administration had to continue conducting tracing and tests, followed by isolation and self quarantine. 

“Testing and tracing are the main strategies,” Dicky said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday, adding that the government should optimize the said strategy as the city could not only depend on the PSBB alone to end the outbreak. 

He went on to say that the pandemic situation in Jakarta was also affected by circumstances in West Java and Banten, as the latter regions had yet to optimize their measures against COVID-19.

“This situation will get better if regions implement pandemic control measures equally,” Dicky said, adding that every provincial and regional administration should cooperate with each other in order to make a change.

Opposing the epidemiologist, the Golkar Party faction chairman in the Jakarta Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), Basri Baco, said the administration should avoid implementing another social restrictions policy. 

Read also: More governors, including Anies, test positive for COVID-19 amid soaring cases

“We cannot keep pulling our emergency brake like this since our economy needs to grow, and the public should be able to perform their activities as usual,” Basri said, urging the government to improve its response to the pandemic.

The Jakarta administration has extended the transitional period of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for another two weeks starting Monday until Dec. 21, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the capital city. 

Jakarta has seen a surge in coronavirus transmission since late October's long weekend, with hundreds of new family clusters emerging in the city, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said. 

"In general, we've seen an increasing trend of new and active cases in Jakarta, especially from the family clusters, after a long holiday and collective leave at the end of October," Anies said in a statement on Monday. 

He further stated that from Nov. 23 to 29, authorities had found 410 family clusters with 4,052 cases, accounting for 41 percent of all COVID-19 cases they discovered in the same period. 

"As of now, Jakarta has recorded 5,662 family clusters with 53,163 cases," he said. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Jakarta increased 13.4 percent in the last month with a total of 145,427 cases recorded on Monday. 

Anies and Jakarta deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria tested positive for the coronavirus last week. (dpk)

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.