A resident caught not wearing a mask is being reprimanded by city officials in Jakarta on Sept. 14, 2020. (Beritasatu Photo/Ruht Semiono)

Jakarta Starts Reimposed PSBB with Crowded Roads

BY :BERNADUS WIJAYAKA, BAYU MARHAENJATI, YUSTINUS PAAT, JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

Jakarta. Jakarta has started its large-scale social restrictions, or commonly known as PSBB, with crowded yet smooth traffic and several non-compliant offices.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has decided to reimpose a two-week PSBB to curb the coronavirus outbreak and save hospitals from being overwhelmed. The reinforced PSBB is far more relaxed than the one implemented last April. However, it still focuses on restricting people's mobility by slashing the capacity in offices and public transportations. 

"The most important point of PSBB is for people to remain home except to go out for urgent and essential reasons," Anies said at a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday.

On the first day of the reinforced PSBB on Monday, the capital still sees a relatively high traffic activity.

With the odd-even traffic restriction temporarily lifted, private vehicles can drive freely regardless of their registration plate numbers. App-based motorcycle taxis are still allowed to carry passengers as long as they adhere to health protocols. 

Jakarta Globe’s sister publication Beritasatu reported the traffic along Jalan M.H. Sudirman to M.H. Thamrin -- home to many high-rise office towers -- was still crowded. Vehicles, however, were still able to navigate smoothly. Traffic density was also only spotted at intersections and traffic lights. The same goes for the vehicles heading to Slipi from Jalan Gatot Subroto. 

On the other hand, traffic along the Jalan Sisingamaraja to Jalan Jenderal Sudirman was relatively quiet.

No buildup of TransJakarta busway passengers occurred in both Gelora Bung Karno and the Al-Azhar Great Mosque stations, Beritasatu reported.

With fewer workers coming to the office, commuter line stations also did not see the usual morning rush.

Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) only recorded 92,546 passengers as of 8.00 a.m. This was a 19 percent decrease from the 114,075 passengers last Monday. The decline was also spread across all stations. For instance, the usually overcrowded Bogor Station only had 6,920 passengers as of 8.00 a.m and thus a 17 percent decline from last Monday’s numbers.

Non-Compliant

Anies said the current PSBB focuses on combating the virus outbreak in offices by only allowing non-essential offices to operate at 25 percent capacity at most. Unfortunately, there have already been reports of non-compliance on the first day.

Jakarta's Manpower, Transmigration, and Energy Department had run a sudden inspection at 64 companies on Monday. The department had assigned 25 teams of four members each to watch out at least four companies or offices. 

During the inspection, three companies were caught exceeding the maximum staffing capacity and were to be temporarily closed for 1x24 hours.

According to the department's head Andri Yansyah, five other companies also had temporarily shut down for 3x24 hours because their staff was Covid-19 positive. During the temporary closure, the office would be thoroughly sterilized and disinfected.

"No company has been fined," Andri said.

Meanwhile, Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said the staffing capacity in Jakarta's PSBB would help his region minimize the risk of imported cases brought by office-goers. 

 "There are benefits [for Bekasi] with Jakarta imposing a strict PSBB because this means that activities in offices are limited. There will be less interaction for the people in Bekasi," Rahmat told online media Republika in Bekasi on Monday.

Almost every day, thousands of people would go to work at the capital and return to their homes in Bekasi at night. Upon returning, they would interact with the people in their neighborhood. A majority of the Covid-19 cases in Bekasi were also imported from neighboring regions, he added.

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