West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil. (Photo courtesy of West Java Government)

West Java, First Province to Ease Covid-19 Restrictions


MAY 30, 2020

Jakarta. West Java will ease the Covid-19 restrictions in Sukabumi, Tasikmalaya and other 13 districts and cities in the province on Monday after seeing the disease's reproduction rate fall below a safe threshold for more than two weeks. 

The most populous province would be the first province to ease the so-called large scale social restrictions (PSBB) since Jakarta first implemented it on April 10. 

But, restrictions in the province's capital Bandung will remain until June 12. Jakarta's satellite cities Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi will stay in place until at least June 4, following Jakarta's restriction timeline. 

"We made the decision based on data because we do not want to act carelessly," West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Friday. 

"The reproduction rate, or Rt, has been 1 in the last 14 days, even 0.97 in the last two days," Ridwan said, referring to a number that represents how many people would contract the disease, on average, by one infected patient.  In epidemiology, a reproduction rate below one means an outbreak would soon die down. 

Ridwan also said the number of people suspected of carrying the virus (ODP) and suspected patients in the hospital (PDP) in West Java had been declining.

There were 858 ODP on Saturday in the province, down by almost two thirds from 2,316 people a week ago, West Java province data showed. The number of suspected patients also dropped by 79 percent to 117 patients, from  557 last week. 

Ridwan said West java would ease the restriction gradually. Mayors and district head must issue circular describing protocols and behaviors that people need to uphold in public places. 

In the first step of easing the restriction, the local government would start to open the house of worship. Second, the government would allow factories and offices to reopen, considering them to have a lower level of people's movement. After that, the government would allow the reopening of malls and retail stores.

Ridwan said he would evaluate the easing implementation within the first week. If the result turns out to be disappointing, the areas could return to PSBB.

West Java confirmed 20 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 2,211 in the province or 8.5 percent of the total cases in Indonesia. Meanwhile, 592 patients in the region have recovered, but 142 others perished.