Thousands ride their bikes on Jalan Sudirman and Jalan M.H. Thamrin in Jakarta as Car Free Day reopens on Sunday. (SP Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

Thousands Blow Off Steam at Jakarta's CFD as National Covid-19 Cases Get Past 45,000


JUNE 22, 2020

Jakarta. Thousands flocked to Jalan Sudirman and Jalan M.H. Thamrin in Central Jakarta on Sunday to enjoy the city's first Car Free Day in more than two months. Many disobeyed public health guidelines, fueling fears of a new spike in the number of Covid-19 new cases in the capital in coming days.

There were people not keeping their distance to each other while some others bring their children and elders, the age group with the highs group for being infected and died by Covid-19 to the fanfare. 


Murdiono, 35, one CFD participant, said he came to the event on Sunday with his families.   

"I am already bored at home, so we bring our children here," Murdiono said, adding that he did not know that is forbidden to bring children under 12 years old. Jakarta government also ban pregnant women and people above 60 years old from gathering in public. 

He said he got a warning from the security officers for bringing their children to the CFD and was told to leave the premise immediately. 

"We can't leave them alone at home. Where else can we take them? CFD is refreshing. The important thing is to keep wearing masks," Murdiono said.

Jakarta has allowed people to return to work gradually in the past week. Shopping malls and houses of worship can open with 50 percent of their capacity. Sunday's CFD marked the day that parks and other recreation areas can operate at half of their capacity and open for the public.

But, Sunday's CFD showed the challenge as the government seeks to seek a balance between people's high level of enthusiasm to return to their normal activities after months of being confined in their homes and the health protocol requirement as Covid-19 pandemic has yet to recede in the country.

"Today, we have seen several places holding car-free day events in Jakarta. Still, we see some people forget the importance of important physical distancing," Achmad Yurianto, the spokesman for the Government Covid-19 Task Force, said on Sunday. 

"This is must be our common concern because we cannot rely on partial, halfhearted efforts to overcome this disease. Our cooperation is important to protect each other so that we can stop the transmission," Achmad said.

Indonesia reported 862 positive Covid-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 45,891 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia. There were 521 people recovered, to bring the total recoveries to 18,404. The number of deaths rose by 36 to 2,465 in total.