Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – West Java is set to implement micro-scale social restrictions (PSBM) in Jakarta's satellite cities, namely Bogor, Depok and Bekasi, with restrictions applied only in areas categorized as "red zones".
Governor Ridwan Kamil and the West Java COVID-19 task force made the decision after a coordination meeting with the local administrations on Monday to consider a stricter approach to fight COVID-19 alongside Jakarta.
As Jakarta reimposes large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), health experts have urged other administrations in the surrounding area to also apply stricter measures against COVID-19 to see effective results.
"West Java has agreed to support Jakarta's PSBB by carrying out the PSBM, especially in areas bordering Jakarta. We use the term PSBM as used by the President," Ridwan said in a statement.
"The more we do not depend on Jakarta, the looser [social restrictions] can be. Activities are restricted to 25 percent but not for the whole city. This applies only in red zones, which is at a micro level," he added, referring to a percentage applied to various activities during the restrictions, such as the number of people allowed to continue working in nonessential companies.
Jakarta's satellite cities in West Java have been implementing the so-called proportional PSBB, where the percentage of PSBB is adjustable by each city and regency, with the fifth extension slated to end on Sept. 29.
Ridwan suggested that regional heads have an incentive budget allocated to community unit heads to help them be at the forefront of educating the public about the PSBM.
"The community unit heads are also in charge of tracking down suspected close contacts of [COVID-19 patients] who must have a swab test," he said, adding that the province was gearing up to meet the World Health Organization's (WHO) testing capacity standard.
Separately, Ridwan said Jakarta residents would be restricted from traveling to West Java as the capital implemented the PSBB. He said the West Java Transportation Agency was currently discussing the restriction scheme.
"The mayors and regents are also counting the number of residents working informally in Jakarta. Due to the strict PSBB, they might no longer be able to work, so it affects the amount of social assistance," he said, as quoted by kompas.com.
Ridwan expressed hope that West Java and Jakarta could coordinate more closely so that the policies implemented by each province could serve the community as best possible.
Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto agreed about the implementation of the PSBM, saying the PSBB was not the best choice in regard to "psychological and economic conditions" in his area.
Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said Bekasi would follow the curfew restriction policy applied in Depok and Bogor to set limits on the hours of activities of citizens and businesses.
He said the city had turned the Patriot Stadium into an isolation center for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients ready for use this week as the occupancy rate of hospital beds in the city has reached 90 percent. (syk)