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Jakarta imposes tighter rules to fight coronavirus

New restrictions that include putting limits on public transport are designed to curb mobility

Jakarta imposes tighter rules to fight coronavirus

A motorcycle taxi driver waits for a passenger outside a hospital in Jakarta on April 9, a day before city authorities impose tighter rules against the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Katharina R. Lestari)

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta will implement tighter measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic by imposing large-scale social restrictions on April 10, the city’s governor says.

The measures, known as PSBB, are designed to limit mobility for 14 days and can be extended if necessary.

Jakarta had recorded 1,470 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of April 8 out of a countrywide total of 2,956 cases and 240 deaths, according to the health ministry

Governor Anies Rasyid Baswedan told journalists that his administration had previously encouraged people to stay at home. 

However, as of April 10, gatherings of more than five people will be prohibited and public transport services will limit passenger numbers to 50 percent of capacity and restrict their operational hours from 6am to 6pm.

Motorcycle taxi drivers will only be allowed to deliver food and to carry goods instead of passengers.

He also said all office and business activities — excluding healthcare, food and beverages, energy, communication, finance, logistics and retailing — will be shut down.

Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for the Laity, called the measures the right move.

“However, it should be followed up by efforts to support those who have to leave home daily to make a living,” said the priest, who is also a member of the Catholic Network Against Covid-19 (JKMC-19), an alliance spearheaded by Indonesian lay groups to coordinate efforts against the virus.

“They faced a decrease in income. Once the PSBB is implemented, their situation becomes worse. The government has to pay serious attention to this,” he told UCA News.

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Syaiful Bahri, a motorcycle taxi driver, said his daily income has decreased since last month following the outbreak.

“I used to get about 350,000 rupiah (US$25) per day before the outbreak. Now I get only about 100,000 rupiah. My income has decreased by more than 50 percent. The PSBB implementation will hurt but I have to follow the rules,” he told UCA News.

Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara has said the government will hand out social assistance payments and staple food packages on April 20 to about 2.5 million people in Jakarta and about 1.6 million others in neighboring cities.

Each person will receive a staple food package worth 150,000 rupiah per week for three months.

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