West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has urged tourists to stay away from the Bandung Raya region, also known as the Bandung Metropolitan Area, as the region elevates its alertness for COVID-19 amid a worrying spike in cases.
“We hereby declare that the Bandung Metropolitan Area is under the level one COVID-19 alert because the two biggest areas this week, namely Bandung regency and West Bandung regency, have been marked as red zones,” Ridwan said yesterday.
The Bandung Metropolitan Area comprises Bandung regency, West Bandung regency, Bandung City, Cimahi City, and Sumedang regency. Overall, the area is currently at 84 percent hospital bed occupancy rate, which exceeds WHO’s safe standard threshold of 70 percent. Meanwhile, the bed occupancy rate for West Java province as a whole is 75 percent.
With the elevated alertness status, all the cities and regencies mentioned are obligated to implement the work from home (WFH) policy and suppress arrivals of visitors from outside the region for the next week.
“Especially for tourism objects that are always crowded in West Bandung and Bandung regencies, I urge tourists who are usually from the Jakarta Metropolitan Area not to come here for the next seven days,” Ridwan said, adding that the region is “pulling the brakes” to control the worsening public health situation resulting from the homecoming exodus (locally known as mudik) during the Eid holiday last month.
Ridwan also urged the central government to consider canceling the upcoming long holiday of Eid al Adha, which is expected to fall on July 20. He has also instructed all regional heads in West Java to accelerate the mass vaccination program by maximizing the use of stadiums or fields.