The decision of the Jakarta and West Java provinces to impose large-scale social restrictions has brought into the question whether the remaining four provinces on Indonesia’s most populous island will follow suit.
COVID-19 cases in Java make up around 70 per cent of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the archipelagic nation to date.
Banten, Central Java, and East Java have only imposed the restrictions in several cities or regency, while Yogyakarta remains the only province in Java that has not imposed any large-scale social restrictions until today.
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said on Wednesday (13 May) that his administration will be ready once the central government requested them to impose the large-scale social restrictions.
“We are ready with any scenario. We will follow the central government’s instructions. [We ensure] that we will support any decision they made,” said Mr Pranowo.
He added that his administration will calculate any risks involved in implementing the restrictions, including logistic supply and developing a transportation system that can limit the mobility of the people.
However, the Head of the Regional People’s Representative Assembly had personally disagreed with the prospect of implementing large-scale social restrictions in Central Java.
The regency, he pointed out, does not have the same capability to cover all its residents’ needs as Jakarta and West Java, and added that each region has different problems and different ways to handle such issues.
Central Java has a total population of over 34.4 million people as of 2018. Now, its provincial government administers 35 cities or regencies in the region.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring province of Yogyakarta only has one-tenth of Central Java’s population — 3.8 million people — as of 2018. The provincial government administers five cities or regencies in the region.
As for implementing the large-scale social restrictions, Yogyakarta Regional Secretary Kadarmanto Baskara Aji said that the administration will see how it will progress later on.
“We are still in consultation with the Jakarta administration regarding our considerations for PSBB. Regencies and cities will have to carry out some preparations by themselves while keeping an eye on the next progress.
“Based on the results from our coordination [between] regencies or cities with the Yogyakarta provincial administration, we assume that we do not need to submit a PSBB,” said Mr Baskara Aji on Wednesday.
Previously, the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB)’s Chief Secretary Harmensyah called for the imposition of large-scale social restrictions on Java island.
“The number of cases on the Java island has contributed to 70 per cent of [COVID-19] cases [in the country] … That’s why we urgently need the implementation of PSBB [large scale social restrictions] in Java island,” he said in a virtual meeting with House Commission VII of the People’s Representative Assembly on Tuesday.
As of Friday (15 May), the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia reached a total oll of 16,496, with 3,803 cases in recovery and 1,076 fatalities.