Return to Stricter Social Distancing Looms Large in Jakarta as Covid-19 Rages On

July 29, 2020, 07.55 PM
Buildings in Jakarta Arieffandy/Oppo N3Buildings in Jakarta

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Jakarta’s deputy governor has warned that the authorities might revert from less stringent large-scale social distancing to the tighter version of the policy as the capital's Covid-19 caseload approaches 20,000 people.

“We will hit the ‘emergency brakes’ [stringent large-scale social distancing] if the number of people afflicted with Covid-19 continues to rise,” said Ahmad Riza Patria on July 28.

“This is the toughest of the three options we have. The first is transiting to the safer, productive [New Normal] era should the transition large-scale social distancing prove effective, while the second extends the transition large-scale social distancing phase if the situation does not change.”

Also read: Jakarta Offices with Covid-19 Positive Workers Told to Shut Down for 3 Days

Riza added that the options hinged on three factors — the speed of Covid-19 reproduction [Rt], the numbers of reproduction [Ro], and the positivity rate. Jakarta will coordinate their next steps with the [national] Covid-19 task force, he added.

Riza’s worst-case scenario comes as the Jakarta Health Services noted that 440 workers in 68 government and private offices tested positive for Covid-19 as of July 27. These are 18 ministries, 33 government offices, and 17 state-owned and private enterprises.

Mining company Aneka Tambang (Antam) reported the most cases as 68 of its employees contracted Covid-19. The finance ministry has the next highest number of cases with 25, while the Food Security, Marine and Agricultural Service in North Jakarta is third with 23 cases.

Jakarta Health Services Disease Prevention and Control official Dwi Oktavia called on office management to tighten health protocols for employees.

Also read: Jakarta Authorities Warn of Potential Covid-19 Clusters in Workplaces

“Among the recommended steps are maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and limiting employee numbers to less than 50 percent of capacity at any one time,” she said.

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