Commuter Line passengers follow physical distancing guidelines on a platform at Bogor Station on Monday. (Antara Photo/Arif Firmansyah)

Public Transportation, Traditional Markets Potential Covid-19 Transmission Hotspots


JUNE 15, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian Medical Association, or IDI, has warned that during the transition period to a new normal, public transportation and traditional markets will become potential hotspots for Covid-19 transmission where the health protocol is often overlooked.

"During this transition period, physical distancing will be crucial," IDI spokesman Halik Malik told Suara Pembaruan on Sunday.


Halik said implementing it will be a challenge. Many new public infrastructures will have to be installed, or old ones updated and improved.

"To avoid long queues before taking the train or other public transportation, there should be waiting rooms with plenty of space to allow physical distancing. Shops in traditional market should provide handwashing facilities and get their customers to wait in line," he said.

Halik said public service institutions might also become hotspots of coronavirus transmission.

Strict health protocols and working in shifts should be implemented in such premises to allow staff to social distance. 

The government should also offer more protection to the elderly, people with pre-existing illnesses and other communities at high risk of infection during the transition period, Halik said. 

More Commuters on Trains

Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI), the operator of the Jakarta Commuter Line train, said Monday's rush hours saw even more passengers than last week. 

By 11 a.m., a total of 160,946 commuters had already gone through the turnstiles, up 12 percent compared to the same period last week.

KCI's vice president of communication, Anne Purba, said long queues were seen again at several stations on Monday morning, but the KCI had sent more officers to the stations to allow a smoother flow of passengers to the platforms and trains.

The passengers have also shown better discipline in following the Covid-19 health protocol at train stations.

Anne said waiting time at Commuter Line stations has been reduced to under 30 minutes.

Additional portable ticket counters are also now available at busy Bogor Station by the parking lot.

"We try to manage the long queues by implementing several queuing zones and mark the platforms so people know where to stand," Anne said.

She said the Jakarta provincial government has also helped with managing the flow of commuters at Bogor, Cilebut, Bojonggede, Tambun and Cikarang Stations.

The Greater Jakarta Transportation Management Agency (BPTJ) has been providing free buses from the stations to several locations in the capital city as alternatives to catching the trains.