JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Approaching the Idul Fitri holiday, Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta, Southeast Asia's biggest textile center, was teeming with hundreds of shoppers since Saturday, May 1.
Even though some wear masks, safe distancing is simply not possible as many people rubbed shoulders on the packed streets and in shops.
"According to the Director of Pasar Jaya, the number of visitors in Tanah Abang Market reached almost 200 percent of capacity," Jakarta Provincial Government secretary, Marullah, said at a rally at the National Monument in Central Jakarta on Sunday, May 2.
Many shop owners and attendants either declined to comment or were defensive about the lax safety measures in the area. Some said they were not confident that masking up would give them enough protection from the coronavirus that has blighted the world in the past year.
"The mask is only as good as how you use it. Here, people often walk without wearing their masks. They only wear the masks if they see officers, so they don't get fined," said one of the shop owners.
Provincial authorities sounded a cautious note ahead of the break, warning that shopping centers should impose restrictions on visitor numbers and control the flow of people. The Indonesian military (TNI) and police members will patrol and monitor the crowd.
Not only in the capital Jakarta, head of the Data and Information Technology Division of the Covid-19 Handling Task Force, Dewi Nur Aisyah, said there has been an increase of 14.82 percent in people's mobility to shopping centers in 29 out of 34 provinces from April 20-27.
(Writers: Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Rindi Nuris Velarosdela, Nirmala Maulana Achmad | Editors : Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Rindi Nuris Velarosdela, Sabrina Asril)
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