JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The Indonesian government will impose travel restrictions on a more limited scale that centered on Sumatra and Java to the end of May.
The government’s intensive vaccination drive is getting plaudits overseas, as Indonesia’s rate of vaccinations is in the global top 20.
And the Indonesian and Philippine militaries pledged closer cooperation to keep the peace in Southeast Asia and face challenges during and after Covid-19. This and more on Indonesia Highlights:
Indonesia to Extend Travel Restrictions In Java and Bali to May 31
The government has decided to extended its Travel Restrictions Within Indonesia [PPDN] that was first imposed after the end of the Eid al-Fitr or Idul Fitri holidays on May 17, to check keep people from returning to their hometowns during the Eid al-Fitr or Idul Fitri holidays by another two weeks.
“The PPDN policy that was first imposed between May 18 to 24 after the Idul Fitri travel ban will be extended from May 25 to May 31,” said Indonesian Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito. “The PPDN only applies in Java and Sumatra.”
He added that travelers in Sumatra are required to have letter certifying that they took a rapid antigen test or a Genose test a day before they travel, while those travelers heading to Java will randomly checked at the port of Bakauheni.
“The travel restrictions are enforced due to Sumatra’s vulnerability to Covid-19. Eight of 10 regencies or cities that are in the red zone are in Sumatra, specifically the provinces of North Sumatra, Riau, West Sumatra and Jambi,” Wiku asserted.
He added that the first three provinces also noted an increase in bed occupancy rates of 50 to 70 percent.
Indonesia’s Covid-19 Vaccination Drive Among Top 20 in the World
Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that Indonesia’s vaccination drive is the 11th highest in the world, with 24.84 million doses injected to the public.
”The momentum from this vaccination drive is vital in checking the number of Covid-19 cases, as the pandemic’s surge in India forced them to divert Covid-19 vaccine exports. This disrupted global vaccine supplies,” she said.
“The number of vaccinations slightly dipped during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan to less than 300 thousand daily doses. But now it is getting increased past that number.”
She added that responsible government policies did its part in keeping Covid-19 from surging out of control.
“Policies such as Micro-Scale Enforced Restriction of Community Activities [PPKM] and the ban on homecoming travel during the Eid al-Fitr or Idul Fitri helped check the increase in Covid-19 cases.”
Sri Mulyani also urged the maintaining of disciplined measures such as health protocols of washing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing masks as well as testing, tracing and treating potential Covid-19 cases to keep their numbers from spreading out of control.
Indonesia, Philippines to Maintain Regional Security in Southeast Asia
The Indonesian and Philippine militaries have highlighted the need for further cooperation in Southeast Asia during the Philindo MC [Philippines-Indonesia Military Cooperation Conference], which was held virtually from the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force.
“As two countries that are geographically close to one another and share a common border, it is in the best interests of both Indonesia and the Philippines to increase cooperation to maintain regional security in Southeast Asia,” said Indonesian Armed Forces chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto.
“Both countries can do this through a framework of cooperation that is mutually beneficial to both sides, as well as steps for a comprehensive partnerships, so as to strike deals that have a positive to both countries” he stated in a press release on Tuesday, May 25.
He added that bilateral cooperation is needed to mitigate the disruptive effects from the Covid-19 pandemic. Philippine Armed Forces Chief of Staff Cirilito Sobejana agreed.
“Indonesia and the Philippines managed to maintain close military relations. This is essential as it helps to promote regional peace and stability,” he said.
“Closer cooperation between the Indonesian and Philippine [militaries] are needed, especially to handle challenges that are more complex, dynamic and ever-changing.”
Sobejana added that both military forces will renew resolutions on facing common threats, conflict resolution and promoting the peace, stability and wellbeing of Indonesia and the Philippines.
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