Human beings are the primary host of the novel coronavirus. If the host is still moving around, the virus will only spread further from person to person.
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Jakarta has increased the number of vehicle checkpoints on the capital city’s major thoroughfares and toll roads on Thursday from 75 to 100 locations in a bid to limit community mobility.
The checkpoints’ operational hours have also been increased. Workers, even those from essential sectors, may no longer enter the capital city. The policy, which issued by the Jakarta Police along with the Jakarta administration and the Indonesian Military (TNI), is expected to effectively reduce community mobility, especially on inner city roads. The move was taken after evaluating the movement of people following the implementation of the emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM Darurat) on Saturday. (Kompas, 15/7/2021).
Vehicle checks at the 100 checkpoints begin at 6 o’clock in the morning and cover 19 inner city areas, 15 toll roads, 10 border areas, and 29 buffer regions (Bekasi, Tangerang, and Depok), as well as 27 major thoroughfares, including Jl. Jend. Sudirman and Jl. M.H. Thamrin in Central Jakarta. The authorities in charge of the PPKM Darurat explained that additional checkpoints were needed to reduce the sharp increase in new Covid-19 cases.
Human beings are the primary host of the novel coronavirus. If the host is still moving around, the virus will only spread further from person to person. Various surveys have found that the virus’ transmission rate would decline if community mobility were reduced by around 50 percent. In Jakarta, the movement of residents has not decreased as expected, despite the new mobility restrictions.
The same condition has occurred in other areas of Java and Bali. Amid the emergency public activity restrictions, data from the Transportation Control and Order division of the Bandung Municipal Transportation Office showed that community mobility in the West Java capital had decreased by only 17 percent or so. In Surabaya, East Java, community mobility had reduced by only 30 percent. Community mobility still remains too high to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Covid-19 health protocols that have been implemented to reduce the spread of the virus have also been strengthened. People are encouraged to wear two masks and be more disciplined in keeping safe distance, washing hands with soap and running water, avoiding crowds, and avoiding dining out together.
The public should accept the tighter social restrictions and other measures with grace and humility, as they are a means to suppress the spread of Covid-19. On the other hand, officers should use humane measures to discipline the public, and not arbitrary measures.
The Health Ministry reported that daily cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia increased by 56,757 new cases on Thursday (15/7), compared to 54,517 cases on Wednesday (14/7), bringing the country’s cumulative total to 2,726,803 cases. Thursday also recorded as many as 19,049 recovered cases and 982 deaths. The increases occurred mostly in Java, especially Jakarta, but more people have also recovered.
The mobility restrictions must be an inconvenience for the public and it may even seem to limit citizens’ rights to work and earn a living. However, the Javanese proverb “jer basuki mawa bea” reminds us that we still need to make sacrifices, even in safe situations. No man is an island.
(This article was translated byHendarsyah Tarmizi).