Governor Anies: Jakarta needs to immediately close its doors

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan speaking to representatives of hospitals across the capital regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on March 5. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan speaking to representatives of hospitals across the capital regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on March 5. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan seems to have hinted that a lockdown is imminent in the capital as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country officially surpassed 100 today.

Having been proactive in taking preventive measures against the novel coronavirus outbreak, such as by shutting all schools, leisure facilities, and canceling events in Jakarta, Anies said in a press conference today that more drastic measures will have to be taken to ensure minimal spread of the deadly disease in the capital.

“We believe that Jakarta already needs to close activities, whether it’s inside [the city] or the arrival of people to Jakarta and people going outside Jakarta,” Anies told reporters at Jakarta City Hall today, as quoted by Kumparan.

However, Anies said that the Jakarta Provincial Government still needs to consult with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) before implementing a lockdown policy. 

“But we can’t do it alone, as we need to consult to BNPB as the head of coronavirus [mitigation [in Indonesia]. For us, we believe that Jakarta needs to act quickly,” Anies added.

Anies also announced the suspension of the odd-even traffic rule for at least two weeks, presumably with the view that it wouldn’t be necessary if citizens work from home. 

Additionally, Anies posted a PSA on his social media channel, encouraging Jakartans to take part in the social distancing movement.

President Joko Widodo today has advised citizens of the archipelagic nation to begin staying at home, highlighting the importance of cooperation as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia continues to rise amid the pandemic.

At a press statement in Jakarta today, Jokowi reminded Indonesians to stay calm and not panic amid the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, noting that Indonesians must remain productive, stay cautious, and be part of a social distancing movement experts say is the most effective way to contain the pandemic.

“Under the circumstances right now, it’s time for us to work from home, study from home, pray from home,” Jokowi said.

“It’s time to work together, help one another, to unite, gotong royong.”

Gotong royong is an Indonesian phrase meaning mutual cooperation.

During the press statement, Jokowi also reassured that the government is taking quick steps to anticipate the impacts of the pandemic, including by ensuring adequate stocks of food and other necessities and an effective disbursement of the state budget to address the situation.

Indonesia today confirmed 21 new COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing the total number of domestic infections to 117. The new cases consist of 19 in Jakarta and two in Central Java, according to a statement issued by the Health Ministry. 

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi also reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, the news of which was announced yesterday, and is reportedly being treated at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital.

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