Asip Hasani and Apriadi Gunawan, Trenggalek, East Java and Medan, North Sumatra – A number of cities and regencies have restricted access to main roads as local administrations brace for large-scale social restrictions previously mandated by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19.
The Bandung administration in West Java has cordoned off several major thoroughfares to limit the movement of citizens during the emergency protocol. The administration has also beefed up security in the region with the deployment of local police personnel to ensure public compliance.
"This restriction is temporary," said Bandung Traffic Police chief Comr. Bayu Catur Prabowo on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com. "Our personnel will urge the public to stay home."
The policy, which has been in effect Sunday, has affected a number of major roads throughout the region, including Jl. Asia Afrika, Jl. Braga, Jl. Kejaksaan and Jl. Diponegoro.
The West Java provincial administration has recorded a total of 180 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths as of Tuesday morning.
Several other regions across Java have also implemented similar restrictions.
Trenggalek regency in East Java has imposed a partial quarantine, restricting access to 45 roads that connect it to neighboring regencies, including Ponorogo and Pacitan.
Only three national roads remain accessible amid heightened virus concerns in the region. The local administration has also set up security checkpoints at the three remaining entrances to supervise traffic going in and out of the regency.
"I have also instructed village heads [...] to close roads that cut through their villages. Therefore, Trenggalek can only be accessed through the three remaining national roads," Trenggalek Regent Muhammad Nur Arifin told the press on Monday while supervising the closure of one of the 45 roads in Gempolan village, Pakel district.
He went on to say that the local administration would provide financial compensation to informal workers whose livelihoods would be disrupted by the emergency protocol.
"As long as the country maintains its emergency response to COVID-19, access to Trenggalek will remain restricted," Arifin said.
Trenggalek is one of the few regencies in East Java that have maintained a zero-case status. East Java has reported 91 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight fatalities at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, in Central Java, provincial capital Semarang shut down five major thoroughfares on Sunday, including Jl. Pandanaran, Jl. Pemuda, Jl. Gajah Mada, Jl. Pahlawan and Jl. Achmad Yani.
The restriction is in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. However, Semarang Mayor Hendrar Prihadi said the duration could be extended to 24 hours should anyone violate the rule.
"We really hope that residents stay at home as much as possible. From what we've seen in the field, there are still people roaming the streets of Semarang," Hendrar said.
Semarang Transportation Agency head Endro Martanto said the administration, along with the Semarang Traffic Police, had restricted access to major roads to ensure that residents remain indoors to flatten the curve of the coronavirus infection.
"To the public, please obey the rules for your own good. Please just stay home," Endro said.
Central Java has reported 81 confirmed COVID-19 cases and seven fatalities at the time of writing.
A number of regions outside Java have taken a similar approach to prevent a nationwide contagion.
As reported by tribunnews.com, Balikpapan in East Kalimantan restricted access to seven major roads into and out of the city on Tuesday, in accordance with a circular issued by the local administration.
Balikpapan Deputy Mayor Rahmad Masud said he expected the public to fully comply with the policy to break the chain of viral infection in the city.
The protocol, which is in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. local time starting on Tuesday, affects Jl. MT Haryono, Jl. Ruhui Rahayu and Jl. Asnawi Arbain, among other roads.
East Kalimantan has reported 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday morning.
Similarly, Medan in North Sumatra also closed down 12 main roads on Saturday and more will likely follow as the health emergency continues, according to Medan Traffic Police chief Comr. HM Reza Chairul Akbar.
The restriction is in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., affecting Jl. SM Raja Simpang, Jl. Sakti Lubis and Jl. Al Falah, among other roads.
North Sumatra has reported 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death at the time of writing.
Jokowi ordered his Cabinet on Monday to impose stricter rules on physical distancing coupled with "civil emergency policies" in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
"I ask that clearer regulations be prepared as guidelines for the provincial, regency and city administrations," Jokowi said, adding that regional quarantine policies could only be enacted by the central government.
Indonesia has recorded a total of 1,414 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 122 fatalities as of Tuesday morning. (rfa)