Jakarta, INDONESIA — Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s administration has decided to extend the city’s large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on Thursday (4 June).
Mr Anies said that this month is a transition period with more relaxed measures for several business sectors and public activities.
While the governor did not specify when the transition period will end, he said that the crucial period would finish at the end of June on condition that the spread of the virus remains stable and without a spike.
The transition period is a preparation before the Indonesian capital city enters a “new normal” period during the pandemic.
Three factors that determine the easing of PSBB
In a press conference at the City Hall yesterday, the former education minister said that PSBB in Jakarta could be relaxed according to three indicators based on analysis from Public Health Team at University of Indonesia (UI).
The three indicators are health facility, epidemiological factor, and public health.
Jakarta’s epidemiological scoring was 75, health facility 100, and public health 70.
Noting that the total score is 76, Mr Anies said: “Based on the total score, this means the social restriction can be relaxed. If the score is above 70, it can be eased gradually.”
“However, we must anticipate the rise in the numbers of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. So, if we see this, Jakarta can move to the relaxed phase,” the governor added.
Reduced capacity at workplaces, restaurants, and public transportation services
Under the extended PSBB, Mr Anies allowed offices in Indonesia’s capital to resume operations.
However, only 50 per cent of the offices’ total employees can work on-site, while the remaining 50 per cent will continue working from home.
The capital-operated public transportation services, mass rapid transit (MRT) and Transjakarta buses will begin operating normally starting today (5 June) with 50 per cent of the total capacity.
The same measure also applies to markets. Non-food markets can reopen with 50 per cent of the total sellers and apply the ganjil genap (odd-even) system.
“Odd-numbered kiosks open on odd numbers of dates, the same applies to kiosks with even numbers. Every place will be different. First, half the total numbers of sellers. Second, physical distancing. Third, you must wear masks. You must be healthy. Do not leave your homes if you are sick,” Mr Anies said.
Places of worship reopen with a series of health protocols
Places of worship such as mosques, churches, and temples will reopen, but only for routine activities.
There are three principles of health protocol for places of worship.
First, the numbers of those taking part in activities must be 50 per cent of the normal capacity.
Second, devotees must maintain physical distancing measures with a minimum distance of 1 meter between persons.
Third, caretakers of places of worship must ensure that premises are sprayed with disinfectant before and after the activities are held.
Malls, zoos, and recreational parks to reopen on 15 June
The governor stated that malls will reopen on 15 June with health protocols such as physical distancing and mask-wearing in place.
Before the extension of PSBB, malls’ operators were sure that malls would reopen on 4 June, meaning that the PSBB would not be extended.
Mr Anies later snubbed the allegation, calling it “fiction, imagination.”
Zoos, recreational parks also return to their regular operation on 15 June, all with 50 per cent of the total capacity.
Discipline is the key to flattening the curve
The governor called on Jakarta residents to comply with health procedures during the transitional period, warning that the Jakarta Administration and the COVID-19 mitigation task force will exercise their authority to terminate all activities should the numbers of new cases hike significantly.
Those who do not wear face mask must pay fine Rp 250,000 (S$24.75).
Arif and his son Diaz told TOC on Thursday that they have chosen not to attend Friday prayers this week in a bid to avoid contact with many people.
“A mosque nearby had opened a few days before the governor’s statement (on the extension of the PSBB). But we’d rather stay at home,” they stated.
An ob-gyn cast her doubt over the relaxing of PSBB, given that lack of discipline among denizens of Jakarta is apparent in her view.
“I don’t know what the easing of the PSBB means. The past PSBB had already been relaxed … People are nt being strict [with the measures] at all. People still underestimate the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Hopefully, the second wave of COVID-19 is not coming,” she told TOC.
As of Thursday (4 June), the numbers of COVID-19 patients in Jakarta stood at 7,600, with 2,607 cases in recovery and 530 deaths, official figures showed.