Passengers stand in line for body temperature check at the Syamsudin Noor International Airport in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan, on March 19. (Antara Photo/Jessica Helena Wuysang)

Indonesia Announces 367 New Coronavirus Cases as Public Transportation Set to Resume Service

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO, THRESA SANDRA DESFIKA

MAY 06, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia has a total of 12,438 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up by 367 in the past 24 hours, as the government plans to resume public transportation services for "essential travels" starting tomorrow.

However, the ban on Idul Fitri exodus will remain in place to contain the spread of the virus from urban areas, most notably Greater Jakarta

Millions of Indonesians travel to their hometowns in the annual ritual called mudik at the end of Ramadan, but the government had earlier banned the exodus and deployed police and soldiers to city borders to send back travelers

"Mudik is not allowed, period," National Covid-19 Task Force head Doni Monardo said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The task force reported that the outbreak has now affected 350 districts in all 34 provinces.

But the number of patients recovering from the disease continues to grow by three digits in the past few days.

"A total of 120 more patients have recovered in the past 24 hours to bring the total number of recoveries to 2,317," task force spokesman Achmad Yurianto said in his daily video conference.

He said 23 patients had died in the same period, taking the country's Covid-19 death toll to 895.

The death toll only includes confirmed cases based on lab tests using the polymerase chain reaction method.

The number of probable cases in hospitals also increased by 524 to 26,932, Achmad said.

Separately, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said public transportation including airlines, ships, railway services and buses may resume operations on Thursday for essential travels as long as they strictly follow health protocols.

The new policy overrules an earlier decision to ban public transportation until early June.

Garuda to Fly Again

Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said it will resume flight services immediately after midnight on Thursday.

Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra said the flights will carry only passengers on official duties and medical workers.

Garuda will also help to repatriate Indonesian migrant workers, he said.

"Flight reservations are available from this afternoon at all Garuda Indonesia ticketing platforms," Irfan said in a statement.

The airline will employ strict health protocols to screen passengers, who will also be required to produce hospital records showing they are free from coronavirus.

"Passengers on official duties must be able to show assignment documents from their superiors and a self-declaration letter stating the travel is not for mudik," Irfan said.

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