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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Jokowi Extends Emergency PPKM Until July 25

President Joko Widodo said the Emergency PPKM policy would be extended until July 25. He explained that if there was a downward trend in daily COVID-19 cases, the government would gradually loosen the restrictions.

“We always monitor, understand the dynamics in the field, and also listen to the voices of the people affected by PPKM. Therefore, if the trend of cases continues to decline, on July 26, 2021, the government will open it in stages,” Jokowi said in a press teleconference, in Jakarta, Tuesday (20/7).

The President explained that this gradual opening will begin with the opening of traditional markets. The market that sells basic daily needs is allowed to operate until 20.00 local time with a maximum visitor capacity of 50 percent. Traditional markets that sell other than basic necessities are also allowed to trade until 15:00 local time with a maximum capacity of 50 percent and with the implementation of very strict health protocols regulated by each local government.

“Street vendors, grocery stores, agents or outletBarbershops, barbershops, laundries, hawkers, small workshops, car washes and other similar small businesses are allowed to open with strict health protocols until 21.00, which technically will be regulated by the local government. Food stalls, street vendors, hawker stalls and the like that have their place of business in an open space are allowed to open with strict health protocols, until 21.00 and a maximum meal time for each visitor is 30 minutes,” he explained.

Children gather at a hawker stall in the Muara Baru neighborhood, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Jakarta, July 14, 2021. (REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)

In addition, activities in essential and critical sectors both within the government and private sector will be described separately. Jokowi hopes that all parties can work together in implementing the Emergency PPKM policy, because he claims the policy that has taken place from July 3 to July 20 has had an impact on decreasing daily cases of COVID-19 and decreasing the capacity of beds or beds. bed occupancy ratio (BOR) for COVID-19 patients in hospitals. However, on this occasion he did not explain in detail the decline in corona cases in the country.

He further said that the distribution of free medicine and vitamin packages for people without symptoms (OTG) and mild symptoms who are self-isolating will continue. It is planned that as many as two million packages will continue to be distributed to people affected by COVID-19.

Residents wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, queue to receive aid provided by the President of Indonesia in Jakarta, July 16, 2021. (REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File Photo)

Residents wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, queue to receive aid provided by the President of Indonesia in Jakarta, July 16, 2021. (REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File Photo)

The government, he said, also continues to strengthen social protection for people affected by the pandemic by allocating an additional aid budget of IDR 55.21 trillion. These assistances include in the form of cash social assistance (BST), village cash transfers (BLT), the Family Hope Program (PKH), basic food assistance, internet quota assistance, and electricity subsidies.

“The government also provides incentives for informal micro-enterprises of IDR 1.2 million for around 1 million micro-enterprises, and I have ordered the relevant ministers to immediately distribute the social assistance to the affected communities. I invite all levels of society, all components of the nation to unite against COVID-19. Indeed, this is a very difficult situation, but with our joint efforts, God willing, we will soon be free from COVID-19 and social activities, the community’s economy can return to normal, “he concluded.

Expert: Trend of Positive Cases is Still High

Epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia Pandu Riono said that based on epidemiological indicators, the Emergency PPKM was not yet time to relax. However, he understands that in a difficult situation like this the President must pay attention to various aspects in making decisions.

Epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono.  (Photo: VOA/Nurhadi Sucahyo)

Epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono. (Photo: VOA/Nurhadi Sucahyo)

“The president gave a signal that this is a collective decision, not just his decision. So you can’t just use epidemiological indicators, the problem is, if you use epidemiological indicators, it’s not yet time to relax, but maybe in political decisions, other factors are not easy,” he told VOA.

He further explained that during the Emergency PPKM period in Java-Bali on July 3-20, the trend of daily corona cases still tended to be high. However, he sees the case in DKI Jakarta has started to sag. Therefore, Pandu advised the government to evaluate the Emergency PPKM policy properly, so that further policies can be effective in reducing corona cases in the country.

“The effect is definitely there. Whether the effect is optimal or not is another matter. What is the effect of that? If the effect is big enough in DKI, how about outside DKI Jakarta? West Java, Banten, less effect, East Java and Central Java are also still lacking. Now appearing outside Java and Bali. So it’s really hard to make a decision in a situation that is already so terrible,” he explained.

Health workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) work among emergency tents set up outside emergency rooms to accommodate a shortage of beds at a government-owned hospital amid a surge in COVID-19 positive cases in Bekasi, July 15, 2021. (REUTERS) /Willy Kurniawan/File Photo)

Health workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) work among emergency tents set up outside emergency rooms to accommodate a shortage of beds at a government-owned hospital amid a surge in COVID-19 positive cases in Bekasi, July 15, 2021. (REUTERS) /Willy Kurniawan/File Photo)

The worsening condition of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, he said, occurred because the government did not take precautions early on in the field. Therefore, the enforcement of health protocols in the community is still weak, so that transmission continues to occur. The government, he said, also did not focus on carrying out the “3T” strategy. (testing, tracing, and treatment) and the COVID-19 vaccination rate is also still low. Communication and approaches to the community to enforce health protocols, and then encourage people to want to be vaccinated are also not carried out by the government to the maximum.

“There is a water faucet that is trying to close which is likened to a corona case, underneath there are people who mop or clean the water when it floods. If the tap (prevention) is not closed, then the water (case) continues to flow. No matter how many health service facilities are strengthened, they will continue to fail,” he explained. [gi/ab]

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