JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Jakarta has decided to extend transitory large-scale social distancing [PSBB] by another two weeks to December 21. The decision came even as the first shipment of vaccines to counteract the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Indonesia.
“The Jakarta Provincial Administration will extend transitory PSBB to December 21, based on the recommendation of the National Disaster Management Board [BNPB] and the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Public Health,” said Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on December 6.
The Gerindra Party politician, who is himself Covid-19 positive, chose to stick with transitory instead of tighter PSBB, on grounds the policy “kept Covid-19 transmission under control over the past two weeks. It is also due to public compliance with health protocols.”
However, even Anies admitted that the stats does not support his upbeat assessment. “The number of Covid-19 cases jumped to 143,961 cases from 125,822 over the past two weeks. This is an increase of 13.4 percent,” he said.
“The rising number is attributed to the long holiday this October and the number of family clusters. The latter accounted for 47.1 percent, or 4,052 new cases, over the past two weeks, or 5,662 clusters accounting for 53,163 Covid-19 cases between June and November.”
Of Jakarta’s 143,961 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,799 died. Another 11,026 people are under treatment for Covid-19, including Anies and his deputy Ahmad Riza Patria. 130,136 Jakartans are confirmed to have recovered from the illness.
The last transitory PSBB policy is also marked by the flaunting of health protocols by the Islamic Defenders Front [FPI] since the vigilante organization welcomed their leader Rizieq Shihab back from exile last November.
The authorities have yet to determine the total number of people from the clusters stemming from the group's mass gatherings in Jakarta and the nearby areas. Anies and Riza were known to come into contact with Rizieq and the FPI.