Governor Anies signs regulation allowing automatic extension of transitional lockdown

Central Jakarta commercial and business hub. <em>Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media</em>
Central Jakarta commercial and business hub. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media

Jakarta has set course to continue “transitioning” away from its lockdown measures despite alarming caseload spikes in recent weeks.

Governor Anies Baswedan on Aug. 27 signed a Gubernatorial Decree (Kepgub) that allows for the automatic extension of the Transitional Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB Transisi) protocol for as long as officials deem necessary.

PSBB Transisi, first enforced in June, relaxes many restrictions previously enforced by the PSBB protocol, which itself was considered relatively lax in social restrictions.

PSBB Transisi was last extended for 14 days on Aug. 28, meaning it will last until at least Sept. 10. Subsequent automatic 14-day extensions will take effect if there is an increase — though not significant — in new COVID-19 cases in the capital by that date, as determined by Jakarta’s COVID-19 task force.

Should there be a significant increase in the capital’s COVID-19 caseload in the future, the Kepgub says PSBB Transisi will be replaced with stricter restrictions.

Jakarta has seen its COVID-19 caseload rise ever since restrictions were loosened under PSBB Transisi, with experts arguing that stricter restrictions are necessary to combat a surge in cases in the capital.

As of Aug. 31, Jakarta has recorded 40,309 positive cases, more than any other province in Indonesia. The capital reported its record daily count on Aug. 30 with 1,114 new cases — a worrying stat that the national COVID-19 task force has suggested may have been the result of long weekend excursions two weeks prior.

The task force said that Jakarta’s positivity rate — the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus against the overall number of people tested — was 9.7 percent as of Aug. 31, higher than the global average of 5 percent. Jakarta’s recovery rate from COVID-19 was 76.7 percent, while its mortality rate stood at 3 percent.

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