Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) Commission IX Deputy Chairman, Charles Honoris, urged the central government to "pull the emergency brake" in a bid to suppress COVID-19 transmission given a dramatic surge in cases in several regions after the Eid holidays.
"As the President has disclosed about the gas-brake strategy in handling COVID-19, I think it is now the time for the government to pull the brake," Charles said in a written statement on Friday, June 11.
He explained the emergency brake could be in the form of social restriction or policy. "The point is, we cannot allow people to carry out activities freely like today."
Charles highlighted the spike in cases in Kudus, Bangkalan, Semarang, and Jakarta. The hospital bed occupancy rate in the capital city even hit 59 percent.
"The occupancy rate at Kemayoran Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital is 67 percent, and the number of patients is rising every day. I received a report that today, 400 patients are entering Wisma Atlet, and ambulances are waiting in line," Charles said.
He opined that if the government did not immediately pull the brake, the spike in transmission would get out of control and hospitals would no longer be able to accommodate patients. "If that happens, it is not impossible that the situation in India will occur in Indonesia," Charles worried.
Besides pulling the brake, Charles said the government must also accelerate COVID-19 vaccination as it is the key to get out of the pandemic. "I hope all elements of society can participate in vaccination so that Indonesia will soon get out of the pandemic and these difficult times."