JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The relaxation of measures during the New Normal in Indonesia has been called into question after the government noted a recent surge in cases.
“The increase in Covid-19 cases on a daily basis shows that the level of public compliance to health protocols is still low,” said Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Achmad Yurianto on Monday, June 23.
“They should raise awareness [of health protocols] among themselves and others for the rules to work. The protocols are there for prevention and breaking the chain of infection.”
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Achmad particularly focused on the public’s tendency to converge and bunch in groups. “One protocol that the public frequently overlooks is social distancing. Social distancing is vital to break the chain of Covid-19 infection,” added Achmad.
"Other than social distancing, we also need to wash our hands before we go out and wear masks at all times.”
Applying more stringent measures
The many instances of the public flouting health protocols forced Indonesia's second-largest city to impose tighter measures.
In Surabaya, East Java, Mayor Tri Rismaharini’s New Normal guidelines authorize police and military joint operations, as well as raids to nab people skipping health protocols.
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“60 percent of the offenders that we caught are those who do not wear masks or practice social distancing. The former is often seen among motorists,” said Surabaya Public Order Agency [Satpol PP] head Eddy Christianto.
“We can also confiscate the offender’s ID card for two weeks. They must collect the card themselves after that time and sign a statement to obey health protocols.”
Eddy added that the Satpol PP have confiscated 40 ID cards since the guidelines has come into force this week.
Creative forms of punishment
The Satpol PP also has other deterrents in store. “Offenders without IDs are made to dance or do push-ups, before they are given a mask and reminded to keep it on,” said Eddy.
“Physical activities like dancing can bolster their immune system, making it harder for them to catch the [corona]virus.”
The mayor’s guidelines are still in the trial phase. They go into full effect next week. East Java is currently the Indonesian province hardest hit by Covid-19, recording 315 new cases over the past 24 hours.
(Writers: Dian Erika Nugraheny, Ghinan Salman/ Editors: Dheri Agriesta, Fabian Januarius Kuwado)
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