Bali’s capital city, Denpasar, will continue to uphold restrictions on community activities (PKM) starting from 15 May until 14 June, as many of the Indonesian island’s inhabitants are still reportedly non-compliant with the rules aimed at containing the COVID-19 outbreak.
The restrictions will prohibit the mobility of its residents and non-residents in and out of the city unless commuters are able to present a letter of duty or reference letter from the workplace at the checkpoint at the city border.
Public policy observer Dr Ida Ayu Putu Sri Widnyani opined that the PKM policy initiated by the Mayor of Denpasar is a good effort to break the chain of COVID-19 pandemic.
“In reality, we see that the mobility of people in Denpasar city area is high and there are still people who do not wear a facemask,” she said on Tuesday (12 May).
However, she added that the local government should consider the impact of implementing the PKM policy from all perspectives.
While the said policy may be able to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission to zero cases from a strictly public health crisis management point of view, the city’s economy will be negatively affected, as the restrictions will take a toll on its inhabitants’ income.
This is because the community will prioritise basic needs and communications, said Dr Widnyani.
From a social perspective, the policy will change the lifestyles of Denpasar’s denizens, from being able to go outside their homes to get some fresh air to staying at home and limiting themselves to activities inside their own homes.
“Those may cause boredom”, she noted.
Previously, it was reported that Wayan Koster, the Governor of Bali, has approved the PKM policy initiated by the Mayor of Denpasar city on Monday, although the Mayor’s regulation is still being drafted.
The proposed legislation will regulate checkpoints in the city border and impose sanctions, such as customary sanctions – Bali is known to have its own customary law for each village – in addition to warnings and administrative sanctions until the closing of businesses at 9pm daily.
Businesses are required to prepare a letter of duty or referral letter in order for their employees to cross the city border.
As of 11 May, Denpasar — with 930,000 inhabitants in an area of 127.78 km sq area — has reported zero positive case of COVID-19 for four days in a row, making it a total tally of 57 positive cases with 47 people recovered and 2 people died.
Even so, the spokesman of COVID-19 task force for Denpasar city Dewa Gede Rai encouraged residents to stay alert and be disciplined in following government regulations despite the slowdown of transmissions in the community.
“We must continue to increase our awareness, as the mobility and activity in the community are still high.
“It is better to temporarily tighten the procedure so that we can completely be free of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We do not want to face the second wave, which will make things to be even more difficult than it has been,” he said in a statement on Monday.