JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian government has ordered Jakarta-based firms to implement new working hours ahead of the city’s new normal.
The directive is meant to prevent overcrowding in public transport facilities and help stem the spread of Covid-19.
Jakarta has been transitioning into the new normal since June 5 and the restarting of economic activity can lead to weak enforcement of physical distancing protocols.
According to the Spokesperson of the National Covid-19 Task Force, Achmad Yurianto, physical distancing will be difficult to enforce in public transportation facilities.
Based on government assessment, workers from the private sector and state companies comprise 75 percent of commuter line passengers, said Yuri.
Nearly 45 percent of those passengers travel to work between 5:30-6:30 am.
“This is what will make it difficult to enforce physical distancing protocols,” said Yuri.
The government has thus ordered two new working hours for Jakarta firms to adopt in the lead up to Indonesia’s new normal.
The first option is to apply working hours that start between 7:00-7:30 am and end between 3:00-3:30 pm.
The second option is working hours that start from 10:00-10:30 am and ends between 5:00-5:30 pm. The new working hours in Jakarta apply for state-owned enterprises, private companies, and government ministries.
“These measures are meant to strike a balance between public transportation capacity and the number of passengers. In doing so, health protocols especially for physical distancing will be ensured,” said Yuri.
Yuri also explained that workers with a pre-existing condition or senior citizens should continue working from home despite the imposition of the new working hours in Jakarta.
A tough battle to beat
The coronavirus spread is proving to be difficult for Indonesia to contain as the country struggles between reopening the economy and ensuring public health and safety.
Since the early cases of Covid-19 were first announced in March, the Indonesian government has reported nearly 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as of June 15.
The number of new infections has steadily risen in the thousands since parts of the country eased lockdown measures.
The government has attributed the higher figures of Covid-19 infections to aggressive testing and contact tracing.
In the transition towards Indonesia’s new normal, the government is looking to test 20,000 samples on a daily basis.
Experts warn that 20,000 daily tests are insufficient and the country should be striving for 30,000 daily tests.
Tonang Dwi Ardyanto, Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Task Force at UNS Hospital, estimates that Indonesia will reach the peak of the curve in a month’s time.
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