Gov’t Urges People Not to Participate in Mudik
Date 2 April 2020
In a bid to continue large-scale social restrictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has announced that there will be no official ban on this year’s Eid annual exodus (mudik).
“The Government together with all community leaders appeal the public not to participate in this year’s mudik for the sake of national safety,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut B. Pandjaitan said in his press statement through video conferencing after attending a Limited Cabinet Meeting, Thursday (2/4).
According to Luhut, the Government and all its officials will take preventative measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including to implement physical distancing guidelines in public transportation.
“This implementation will affect the cost of public transport and the seat will be limited during Eid exodus,” he said.
Regarding mechanism on the ground, Luhut added, it will be arranged and announced together with relevant ministries. For instance, travelers who participate in the exodus should carry out a 14 days self-quarantine as soon as they arrive in their hometowns, he said.
“If their hometowns are considered as red zone areas, the travelers should conduct self-isolate for 14 days to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 without disrupting economic activities,” he said.
Luhut added that the Central Government will coordinate with regional governments to ensure that the people who leave the city for their hometowns will carry out self-quarantine.
“A number of people have left the city for their hometowns in Central Java, West Java, and East Java provinces. We need to implement a more stringent protocol due to the COVID-19 risks,” Luhut said, adding that Ministry of Social Affairs will provide incentives and social aids for people at the grassroots level amidst the Government’s appeal to the people not to participate in this year’s mudik.
“The handling of COVID-19 in every country is different because the conditions are also different from one country to another. The solutions chosen by developed countries are not necessarily suitable for us. For example, India did a lockdown and it has affected its economy,” Luhut added.
According to Luhut, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered his Cabinet ministers to pay attention to every decision’s impact in order not to bring negative impact on the lower-class people and also to ensure that social aids will directly reach the people.
The Minister also said that the impact of Covid-19 is still under control; yet, anticipative measures are needed as there is a second wave of coronavirus in China.
“Therefore, our discipline is imperative. We should not spread bleak news,” Luhut said.
The media, Luhut continued, should also not quote any statements that are false and worry the public worry, and to be better at creating positive news amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“I want to underline that the Government will not issue a policy that will disadvantage the people,” the he said.
On that occasion, Luhut pointed out that the Government is evaluating the people’s needs in more detail so that it reaches to the targeted communities.
“We will cooperate with the Jakarta administration. Based on the data, there are 3.7 families in vulnerable conditions,” Luhut sai, adding that the Government is considering to involve Gojek and Grab services so that the drivers still can work amid the outbreak.
On that occasion, Luhut also pointed out that the results of studies from the University of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and the National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN) show that practicing physical distancing measure is important to stop the spread of the COVID-19.
The Central Government and regional governments, he added, will coordinate to ensure that if there are people who want to leave the city and carry out a 14 days self-quarantine in their hometowns, they should have a health check in their hometowns and have to make sure the hometowns will accept the travelers.
“That’s because we know that many villages in other regions refuse travelers from Jakarta because currently Jakarta is the central of the Covid-19 suspects,” Luhut added.
Regarding mechanism on the ground, Luhut said that he will immediately report it to the President related to technical instructions so that there will be a guidebook issued by Minister of Social Affairs.
“The President has ordered us to calculate so that the people will receive the Government’s assistance,” he said, adding that there is never any hesitation from the Government or delay in making decisions.
“The decision-making process should be made carefully with all considerations and the President is very concerned about people with low incomes. Minister of Social Affairs has to make sure that they all can get the assistance and that is a difficult task to do,” the Coordinating Minister said. (TGH / EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas