Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo insists the micro-scale restriction on community activities, also known as PPKM Mikro, is still the best option available against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indonesia's pandemic situation is deteriorating. The country's daily cases hit an all-time high at 20,574 on Thursday — beating the 15,308 records on the previous day. In total, as of Thursday, Indonesia has recorded 2,053,995 Covid-19 cases since last March.
Jokowi said there is no need to debate whether PPKM Mikro or a lockdown is the better option against these surges, adding that both are similar and aim to restrict people's activities.
PPKM Mikro remains the government's top choice, as according to Jokowi, it can contain the virus outbreak without hurting the economy. The president is also optimistic that PPKM Mikro can keep the transmission rate under control if well-implemented and measures continue to be reinforced.
"The government has decided that PPKM Mikro is still the best policy to take to curb the Covid-19 transmission up to the village level or go straight to the roots of the problem, namely the communities,” Jokowi said on Wednesday.
According to Jokowi, PPKM Mikro has yet to be implemented comprehensively but sporadically enforced in certain places.
He then urged regional leaders —governors, district heads, mayors— to strictly reinforce PPKM Mikro and optimize the Covid-19 watch post at every hamlet or urban wards.
These posts must ensure people's compliance to the so-called '3M' protocols of mask-wearing, handwashing, and maintaining a safe distance.
"Discipline in [adhering to] the 3M protocols and strengthening testing, tracing, and treatment up to the village-level is key," Jokowi said.
In his statement, the president also urged all parties to observe the health protocols strictly.
"This outbreak is real. Anyone can get infected regardless of their race, origins, economic status, religion, and tribe. This disease does not care who we are. If we are not careful and do not protect ourselves, we can catch the virus."