With Eid al-Fitr coming this Sunday, the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol currently in place in regions across the country seem powerless to stop Indonesians from shopping for new clothes and food to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Photos and videos that have been circulating on social media this week show that partial lockdown protocol and social distancing advisories have been largely ineffective recently.
Chief among them was a scene from Anyar Market in Bogor, West Java on Sunday. A viral video shows a large group of motorcyclists crowding the street before and after a railway crossing, where sellers with pop up stalls appear to have opened up for business in cramped conditions.
The scene prompted the Bogor City Government to order the closure of the stalls yesterday, with the city’s Health Agency conducting rapid tests on at least 131 sellers and visitors of Anyar Market.
Sri Nowo Retno, who heads the agency, said that the results for four people have come back “reactive,” and they will undergo swab tests tomorrow. She stopped short of identifying Anyar Market as a COVID-19 cluster, saying that it will only be determined as such once there are multiple cases confirmed.
In the capital, clothing sellers in the popular market district of Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta opened pop up stands on the sidewalks over the weekend. Several blocks of this ordinarily crowded market were closed in accordance with the PSBB protocol, except for those selling groceries. Clothing stores are not considered essential businesses, and therefore aren’t allowed to operate during PSBB.
Yassin Pasaribu, who heads the Tanah Abang sub-district, said the pop up market was a chain reaction resulting from visitors, who kept coming from satellite cities such as Bogor and Bekasi, which prompted the sellers to reopen their stalls due to the high demand. Yassin said they started swarming the pop up market since Wednesday last week, with the crowds peaking over the weekend.
According to reports from local news outlets, visitors were still flooding the market in Tanah Abang, despite officers from the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) having raided the area yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, in the Ciledug sub-district of Tangerang City, crowds were seen swarming outside CBD Mall Ciledug, which reopened on Sunday.
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Kondisi Mall CBD Ciledug pada kemarin Minggu 17/05, terlihat para pengunjung membludak untuk masuk ketika Mall akan dibuka, tanpa mematuhi protokol Kesehatan pencegahan Covid-19. Masih adakah PSBB? #terserahindonesia Via : @cerita_militer Cc : @ariefwismansyah @tangerangkota @wh_wahidinhalim Untuk berita terkini Ciledug dan sekitarnya? 👇 Follow : @ciledug24jam Follow : @ciledug24jam Follow : @ciledug24jam #ramadhan #ramadhan2020 #ramadhankareem #berbagi #bansos #psbb #psbbtangerangraya #psbbjakarta #COVID19 #coronavirus #VirusKorona #pandemic #pandemic2020 #workfromhome #dirumahaja #staysafe #stayhome #ciledug #karangtengah #larangan #tangerang #ciledugtangerang #banten #jktinfo #pelanggarpsbb #mall #cbdciledug #terserahindonesia #savetenagamedis #indonesiaterserah
“We can open, guys,” the woman behind the camera, presumably one of the mall’s tenants, can be heard saying in the video.
As seen in the clips below, people have also started visiting malls again. The first and second slides of the post below are footage taken in the East Java capital of Surabaya, while the third slide shows a scene from Pekalongan city in Central Java.
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Indonesia is expected to have the quietest Eid al-Fitr in recent memory, as PSBB protocol prohibits social gatherings in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, which also includes congregation prayers that are common during this time of the year. However, unwritten traditions in Indonesian culture, such as new clothes for Eid, appear to be the main drive for people to begin swarming markets and shopping malls, seemingly nonchalant about the fact that we are living in a pandemic.
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