Jakarta Government returns to tighten Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) starting Monday (1/11) until the next two weeks. Decision to re-tighten PSBB is regulated in Gubernatorial Decree (Kepgub) No. 19/2021 and Gubernatorial Regulation (Pergub) No. 3/2021.
" Currently, we are at the highest active case point so far, which is around 17,383 cases"
PSBB will be implemented on January 11-25 to follow up Central Government's instruction, where Economy Minister who is also the Chair Committee for Handling COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery, Airlangga Hartanto announced to tighten PSBB in several cities in Java and Bali, including Jakarta, on Wednesday (1/6).
According to Jakarta Governor, Anies Baswedan, the decision to re-tighten PSBB was due to recent COVID-19 situation in Jakarta which tends to be worrying.
"Currently, we are at the highest active case point so far, which is around 17,383 cases. Active cases are the number of people who are currently positive for COVID-19 and haven't been declared cured, both those who are treated in health facilities and carry out self-isolation," he said in Jakarta PPID Press Release, Saturday (1/9).
Reflecting on the previous PSBB tightening period in September 2020, where Jakarta Government succeeded in reducing active cases significantly from the spike in COVID-19 active cases due to long Islamic New Year holiday in mid-August.
"We remember that in mid-August, there was a long Islamic New Year holiday. Two weeks after long holiday, there was an increase in daily cases and surge in active cases in a very short time. So at that time, we decided to pull the emergency brake in mid-September," he explained.
"Some time after emergency brake was pulled, it appears that active cases decreased rapidly, even returning to the starting point before the increase. It reduces to 50%, so we can return to the Transitional PSBB. It means that tightening social restrictions is really effective in reducing active cases," he added.
However, long holidays are often trigger surge in COVID-19 cases. Moreover, in December 2020, there is a long Christmas and New Year holiday. It is clear that many residents take a vacation on long holidays, thus active cases tend to rise and have a potential to approach the limit of isolation beds and ICUs capacity in hospitals.
"Why are restrictions needed? Because government's speed to increase the capacity of health facilities must not be slower than speed of increasing cases. When there are additional beds, it requires additional health personnel, additional equipment, and medicines," he asserted.
Even during the previous PSBB tightening in mid-September, ICU capacity in Jakarta was almost filled with patients who requiring ICU care. After tightening PSBB, Jakarta Government didn't remain silent, but instead worked extra hard to increase capacity of health facilities. Thus if ICU capacity increases, curve for number of patients requiring ICU care slopes and gap between them widens, that makes the situation better.
Meanwhile, he also mentioned that controlling pandemic in Jakarta requires cross-sectoral and integral decisions. Moreover, looking at the data so far, it seems that there is correlation between positive cases in Jakarta and areas around Jakarta that influence each other. Data testing which conducted by laboratories in Jakarta found positive cases in Jakarta were not only Jakarta residents, but also residents around Jakarta.
"In December, for example, 26% of 63,742 positive cases found by lab in Jakarta were Bodetabek residents. As well as for health facilities in Jakarta. Around 24-27% of patients treated in health facilities in Jakarta are residents outside Jakarta, especially Bodetabek," he stated.
"It means, there is a close correlation between Jakarta and its surrounding areas. Therefore, we strongly support central government's decision to tighten social restrictions integrally in Jabodetabek area as well as other areas in Java and Bali. So we can limit symmetrically together," he conveyed.
He also detailed the changes from Transitional PSBB to the PSBB tightening period. Where in fact, Jakarta citizens already familiar with it, such as:
- Workplaces: 75% conduct Work From Home;
- School activities are still conducted remotely;
- Essential sector can run 100% with strict health protocols;
- Construction sector can run 100% with strict health protocols;
- Shopping centers will continue to close at 7 PM;
- Restaurants can only accept dine-in until 7 PM with capacity 25%. Take away service can open for 24 hours or according to operating hours;
- Worship places is still limited to 50% of capacity;
- Public facilities and all socio-cultural activities are temporarily suspended;
- Health facilities can operate 100% with health protocols;
- Public transportation will continue to operate by limiting the capacity.
He reminded that even though these principles are familiar, it doesn't mean everyone will be off guard in facing the restrictions in the future. "At this time we have to be very strict. Together, we must ensure number of active cases decreases until the vaccine is evenly distributed for all of us," he said.
He also advised residents to be discipline in implementing 3M, by wearing mask, washing hands with soap, and maintaining safe distance. These simple steps will greatly help health workers who are in the last bastion to fight the pandemic. By doing it, PSBB tightening will not last long and Jakarta can re-implement Transitional PSBB period towards a safe, healthy, and productive society.
"We may be bored. However, please remember that we are facing an enemy who doesn't know boredom. Also remember that our health workers are very tired and almost at their limit. Every day they risk their health and their families to save us. They too have struggled for months and still have to keep fighting. We must help and take care of them," he closed.