President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo inspects the distribution of relief packages for communities badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Johar Baru, Central Jakarta, on Monday. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

No Plan to Relax Large-Scale Social Restriction: Jokowi

BY :NOVY LUMANAUW, LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN

MAY 18, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Monday the government had no intention to relax its large-scale social restriction, or PSBB, as Indonesia recorded its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases last week.

As of Monday, Indonesia has a total of 18,010 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 1,191 deaths and 4,324 recoveries.

"We have no plan to relax the PSBB, not yet," Jokowi said during an online cabinet meeting from Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

The president said the public should not assume the government is beginning to relax the PSBB guidelines.

He said what the government had been doing is preparing different scenarios to be decided later on according to data and facts on the ground.

"Please don't assume that we've already decided on our course of actions," Jokowi said.

Last week, National Covid-19 Task Force Head Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo said Jokowi had instructed him to simulate different stages of relaxing the PSBB.

The task force has come up with guidelines on precondition, timing, priority and coordination between central and regional governments that can be used to decide if the PSBB guidelines could be relaxed for certain regions or sectors. 

According to Jokowi, the government will focus on enforcing the mudik ban to prevent people from leaving urban centers to celebrate Idul Fitri in their hometowns – and spreading Covid-19 in small towns and rural areas – in the next two weeks. 

"I've asked the police, with the help of the military, to ensure the mudik ban is being followed," he said.

The president said that even though the mudik ban still applies, transportation required for logistics distribution, government business, medical emergencies, repatriation of migrant workers and essential economic activities is still allowed to run. 

Speeding Up Social Aid Distribution

Jokowi said he had also given instructions to Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara and Village, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar to simplify the process of distributing the social cash assistance, basic food aid and direct cash aid (BLT) for villages.

According to Jokowi, the latest report he received showed the distribution of the direct cash aid for villages is currently only at 85 percent, and for the social cash assistance at 75 percent. 

"Both ministers have told me everything will be completed this week," he said.

Jokowi has also asked that problems caused by unsynchronized data in the social welfare integrated database (DTKS) and data outside the DTKS database be resolved immediately.

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