Movement of people into Jakarta set to tighten as surrounding satellite towns enact own social restrictions against COVID-19

Movement of people into Jakarta set to tighten as surrounding satellite towns enact own social restrictions against COVID-19

Spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective masks walks during the imposition of large-scale social restrictions by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

JAKARTA: More than 100 checkpoints in the Greater Jakarta area are set to be erected by Tuesday evening (Apr 14), as the satellite towns surrounding the capital city rolled out their own measures in the fight against COVID-19.

Five suburbs bordering Jakarta to the south and east are slated to impose so-called “large-scale social restrictions” at midnight on Tuesday, after the capital city imposed similar measures last week.

In Depok, 20 checkpoints would be erected, local police chief Azis Andriansyah told CNA.   

“We will stop every vehicle entering or leaving Depok City to make sure that they are wearing face masks, have only one person per row of seats and that they only travel because they work in essential services or have to buy groceries or medicine,” Mr Andriansyah said, adding that the checkpoints will be manned 24-hours a day.

Government imposes large-scale social restrictions to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread
Government imposes large-scale social restrictions to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in Jakarta, Indonesia

Meanwhile, Bogor city plans to erect 11 checkpoints across the city, five at toll road gates leading to Jakarta and six on major roads inside the city.

“We will also conduct patrols to make sure people don’t mingle or stage gatherings and comply with the social restrictions order,” Bogor police chief Hendri Fiuser said when asked by CNA.

“Hopefully, these efforts will compel people to stay at home and only travel if they need to.”

According to the Jakarta statistics agency, 4 million people travel to Jakarta from the suburbs every day to go to work or school.

The Indonesian capital is surrounded by eight satellite towns. Five are administratively part of West Java province and three are part of Banten province.

The West Java suburbs which will enact the restrictions at midnight on Tuesday are: the cities of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi as well as the regencies of Bogor and Bekasi.

Indonesia Jakarta compulsory face mask
A motorist rides past a banner readings "Must use a face mask" along a street in Jakarta on Apr 9, 2020,. (Photo: AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

The suburbs in Banten, which border Jakarta to the west, will begin their social restriction mechanisms on Saturday.

The restrictions in Jakarta, which applied to all businesses except those deemed essential services, have been criticised for not being entirely effective in stopping people from coming to work on Monday, the first working day since they were imposed.

READ: Crowds, minor infractions on first working day after social restrictions imposed in Jakarta

On Monday, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that he hoped people’s movements would be much more controlled once Jakarta’s surrounding suburbs enacted the same policy.

Separately, Indonesian media reported that Bekasi city is erecting 30 checkpoints across the cities porous border with Jakarta and other areas.

Dozens of checkpoints are also being erected in the regencies of Bekasi and Bogor, particularly in districts which border the Indonesian capital and those which host COVID-19 patients and suspects.   

READ: Jakarta on verge of massive Idul Fitri exodus amid social restrictions, layoffs for low-wage workers

READ: Indonesia’s first 3 COVID-19 patients open up about online hate and stigmatisation

JAKARTA CITY TO ADD MORE CHECKPOINTS

Meanwhile, Jakarta is also planning to add more checkpoints, Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus told CNA.

“Today, we have 33 checkpoints but we plan to add more in the outer districts of Jakarta considering the fact that we have a porous border with the suburbs,” he said.

"We will also erect checkpoints at bus terminals because public transportation has to reduce maximum occupancy by 50 per cent.”  

FILE PHOTO:  Person walks near a mural depicting a nurse to support healthcare workers in the front
FILE PHOTO: A person walks near a mural depicting a nurse to support healthcare workers on the frontline amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ciamis, West Java, Indonesia, April 10, 2020 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Adeng Bustomi via REUTERS

The restrictions in Jakarta will last for two weeks until Apr 23 but can be further extended.

Under the social restrictions, schools, houses of worship and public spaces will have to close while employees working for non-essential offices and businesses must work from home.

Public transportation and private vehicles must also reduce the number of passengers by more than half of its maximum capacity.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: CNA/ni(aw)

Bookmark