Jakarta – The Yogyakarta administration is set to conduct COVID-19 tests on tourism players and residents who have been in contact with travelers visiting the special region during the recent long weekend.
Yogyakarta secretary Kadarmanta Baskara Aji said the tests were necessary to monitor the potential spread of the disease in the region, which had confirmed 3,851 cases as of Sunday.
"Starting Monday, we will conduct swab tests after taking proportional samples," Kadarmanta said on Sunday as quoted by tempo.co.
The swab tests would specifically target tourism-related businesses and residents living around tourist destinations, especially those who had out-of-town relatives over during the long weekend, he added.
With 3.8 million residents, Yogyakarta has met the World Health Organization (WHO) testing capacity requirement of at least 1 per 1,000 population, conducting 700 to 1,000 tests per day.
During the long weekend from Wednesday to Sunday, the number of tourist visits in Yogyakarta increased sharply.
In Yogyakarta city, the number of daily visits increased three to four times from a normal day, according to the city's deputy mayor, Heroe Poerwadi.
He added that according to data obtained from QR codes, the average number of visits to the famous Jl. Malioboro on Thursday and Friday was 4,400, an increase from 1,000 to 2,000 on a normal day.
The Yogyakarta COVID-19 task force found numerous health protocol violations among visitors, especially in Malioboro.
"The most common violations are not wearing masks or not wearing them properly," Heroe said, adding that violators had been given a warning.
In the meantime, Yogyakarta has decided to continue trials for Jl. Malioboro's status as a pedestrian zone that bans motor vehicles. The next trial is set to run from Tuesday to Nov. 15.
"When we're applying the upcoming pedestrian zone trial, we will engineer the surrounding traffic with a gyratory system, or a counter-clockwise rotation," Yogyakarta Transportation Agency head Ni Made Dwi Panti Indrayanti said on Saturday as quoted by tempo.co.
The streets around the Malioboro area that will have one way traffic are Jl. Mayor Suryotomo, Jl. Mataram, Jl. Abu Bakar Ali, Jl. Pembela Tanah Air and Jl. Letjen Suprapto.
The Malioboro area is set to be a pedestrian zone as it is located in line with Yogyakarta Palace and Tugu monument.
Yogyakarta is proposing the Palace-Malioboro-Tugu area as a world heritage site to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Part of the requirements for status is that the city needs to restructure the transportation sector surrounding the intended site. (syk)