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Jakarta Post

Task force calls for stricter sanctions against violators

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, November 27 2020   /  01:00 am
Down with it: Joint security task force officers make a man do push-ups as punishment for his failure to wear a mask as part of Operation Yustisi designed to enforce COVID-19 health protocols in Cinere, Depok, West Java, on Friday. Violators of the protocols are subject to fines, or physical sanctions such as sweeping the roads, singing national songs or doing push-ups.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Despite having a lower rate of active coronavirus cases than the global average, Indonesia has yet to get the outbreak under control, national COVID-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito has said.

“The number of active cases has reached 12.78 percent, which is a decline of 0.05 percent from last week. Since the number is flattening, this signifies that the rate of new active cases has decreased significantly from previous months,” Wiku said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, he continued, the virus remained out of control because people tended to neglect health protocols.

The number of active cases is calculated by subtracting the number of COVID-19 recoveries and deaths from the number of confirmed cases. The statistic represents the number of cases still considered to be infectious.

The situation was exacerbated by a long weekend that occurred at the end of October that saw increased mobility, as well as public events that attracted large crowds. 

In order to reduce COVID-19 transmission, Wiku urged regional administrations to impose stricter punishments for health protocol violations.

“Again, I ask the regional administrations to monitor the promotion and implementation of COVID-19 health protocols and to punish those who still neglect the protocols, without exception,” he said, adding that collaboration between the government and the public was the key to reducing the number of active cases nationwide.

Provinces with the most COVID-19 cases (as of Nov. 23)Provinces with the most COVID-19 cases (as of Nov. 23) (JP/Hengky Wijaya)

On Wednesday, Indonesia set a single-day record with 5,534 new cases, making for a total of 511,836 cases. The country saw 5,444 in cases on Nov. 13, approximately two weeks after the late-October long weekend.

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

Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy disclosed 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.

On Monday, Indonesia’s cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 500,000, the highest of any Southeast Asian country. Jakarta, the national epicenter of coronavirus cases, reported 128,173 cases.

The capital also recorded its highest single-day surge of COVID-19 cases with 1,579 cases on Sunday, which led the city administration to extend large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) until at least Dec. 6.

As of Monday afternoon, Indonesia had recorded more than 16,000 deaths. East Java had reported the largest number of fatalities in the country with 4,184. 

Many people have raised concerns about lackluster health protocol enforcement as some provinces have continued to see mass gatherings despite the government’s stated commitment to curb virus transmission. (dpk)

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