JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic paid a working visit outside the capital city during the transition period to a new normal on Thursday, June 25.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat Heru Budi Hartono assured that strict health protocols were observed during the visit to East Java Province, which is categorized as a pandemic high-risk area or “red zone.”
Heru said that members of a limited presidential entourage had undergone medical checks and rapid tests as a precautionary measure.
“Prior to the departure, members of the president’s entourage comprising ministers, presidential security details, and other officials undergo rapid test,” Heru said.
To comply with health protocols, he added, the capacity of the presidential aircraft during work visits has also been reduced by half.
Before the pandemic, the presidential aircraft used to accommodate up to 55 passengers in each trip. This has been cut to 25 passengers amid the pandemic.
"Other groups have preceded us so that the number of passengers in the [presidential] aircraft reaches only 50 percent,” he said.
During his first stop in East Java’s capital, Surabaya, the president visited the East Java Covid-19 task force center, where he gave directions to the provincial task force team and East Java officials. He said East Java Province has reported Indonesia’s highest daily rise in coronavirus cases for two weeks.
A day earlier, the province reported 183 new confirmed cases. “This is the highest number [of Covid-19 cases] in Indonesia. Be careful as this is the highest [number] in Indonesia,” said Jokowi.
He gave the East Java Province officials two weeks to lower the transmission rate of the coronavirus. To achieve that, the head of state called on all relevant parties in East Java to work closely with the task force teams from the provincial to village level in handling the Covid-19 crisis.
“In the next two weeks we must seriously handle this together and all of the units must be integrated,” the president said.
He called on the relevant officials to take necessary actions in handling the case as Surabaya and its vicinity have recorded the highest spike.
“Surabaya can’t [be] alone, it can’t. Gresik must be under one management, Sidoarjo must be under one management, and also other cities and regencies because the flow of mobility, inbound and outbound, not only takes place in Surabaya,” he said.