JAKARTA: Train stations and airports in Jakarta had been packed with travellers making a last-ditch effort to leave the capital metropolis, with the federal government set to impose one other ban on Thursday (May 6) on the annual exodus to different provinces marking the tip of Ramadan.
The authorities fears that Indonesia will see a surge in COVID-19 infections if tens of millions of persons are allowed to travel from the cities to their hometowns to rejoice the Idul Fitri vacation.
The ban on the mass migration, generally known as Mudik, can be enforced from midnight on May 6 till May 17. The authorities have pledged to beef up enforcement actions on the checkpoints.
Meanwhile, epidemiologists have criticised the ban for being too temporary, including that the brief interval will defeat the function of curbing the unfold of the coronavirus.
According to practice firm Kereta Api Indonesia, round 15,000 individuals have been leaving Jakarta through the 2 principal inter-city stations on daily basis since final week. The two stations are in Senen and Gambir.
Normally, round 5,000 individuals leave Jakarta through the 2 stations on daily basis.
When CNA visited the Senen station on Tuesday, there was a snaking queue of passengers ready to endure COVID-19 fast testing.
At the opposite finish of the station had been passengers ready in an open-air lounge for his or her trains to arrive. Seats had been restricted, with some being marked with crimson tape due to social distancing guidelines. This resulted in lots of sitting on the ground subsequent to their baggage and cardboard bins full of garments in addition to items for his or her family members again dwelling.
“My family has been pressuring me to go home. I miss my parents and my siblings. I only see them once a year during Idul Fitri. I have to go home to see them,” Mdm Ayu Sulistyo who got here to the station along with her six-year-old son Rama informed CNA.
Mdm Sulistyo stated her husband is travelling by motorbike in order that the household would have a way of transportation throughout their time of their hometown in Central Java province.
Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta airport was additionally filled with travellers. Airport officers stated there have been between 40,000 and 60,000 passengers every day because the Mudik ban nears.
“I didn’t go home last year, so I have been dying to physically meet my parents and relatives this year,” Mdm Natasya Tiara who was travelling to South Sumatra along with her household of 5 informed CNA.
“WE WILL MONITOR ALL ROADS BIG OR SMALL”: POLICE
During final 12 months’s ban, there have been individuals who tried to dodge the police at checkpoints. Some had been caught hiding in truck containers or bus baggage compartments.
An engineer who solely wished to be generally known as Trisno informed CNA that final 12 months he managed to leave Jakarta by travelling on small and fewer monitored village roads. He intends to do the identical this 12 months.
“I will just try my luck. If we get caught and are ordered to head back to Jakarta, we will comply. There is no harm in trying,” stated the 56-year-old.
Personal automobiles that attempt to travel out of Jakarta can be ordered to flip again. However, for personal automobiles which are transporting individuals for cash, the drivers could possibly be jailed for 2 months or fined 500,000 rupiah (US$34.63). Truckers who’re caught smuggling individuals could possibly be jailed for one month or fined 250,000 rupiah.
The chief of National Traffic Police Corps, Inspector General Istiono stated he’ll deploy 166,000 officers to man a whole bunch of checkpoints unfold throughout Java and Sumatra, two of Indonesia’s most populous islands.
“We will monitor all roads big or small so that no one gets away with violating the Mudik ban,” Insp-Gen Istiono, who like many Indonesians go along with one title, informed native media on Monday.
Meanwhile Angkasa Pura II, which manages some of Indonesia’s largest airports, stated that it’s going to erect verify posts at airports throughout the nation to make positive that solely these with authentic causes to travel can board their flights.
The verify posts, the corporate stated in an announcement on Monday, can be manned by officers from the National COVID-19 Task Force, the well being ministry and the police.
Business travel and different “urgent travel” like demise within the household are permitted through the ban.
The authorities can be banning most intercity buses from working, the transportation ministry stated in an announcement on Sunday.
The ministry will nevertheless permit sure buses to function to accommodate these exempted from the ban.
EXPERTS SPEAK OUT AGAINST “WEAK” RESTRICTIONS
Epidemiologists interviewed by CNA have spoken out towards what they are saying is a much less stringent two-week Mudik ban this 12 months. In 2020, the ban lasted for 5 weeks.
Last 12 months’s ban was put in place when Indonesia’s whole caseload was lower than 7,000 with round 400 new infections recorded day by day. After final 12 months’s Idul Fitri vacation season, the day by day an infection charge jumped to greater than 1,000 and continued to climb for months.
Today, greater than 1.6 million individuals in Indonesia have contracted COVID-19 with round 4,000 new infections on daily basis.
This 12 months, the federal government can be permitting vacationer points of interest to keep open through the holidays and folks to rejoice Idul Fitri collectively.
“People’s mobility will remain high, be it to celebrate Idul Fitri or to go sightseeing. The risk of infection remains high despite the ban on Mudik which in itself is pretty weak,” University of Indonesia epidemiologist, Pandu Riono informed CNA.
Airlangga University epidemiologist, Windu Purnomo stated though hospitals in small cities and areas are actually higher outfitted to take care of COVID-19 sufferers, different new challenges have emerged.
“There have been several COVID-19 variants from overseas making their way to Indonesia. Some of these variants are more virulent. They can spread easier and have a shorter incubation period,” he famous.