"In keeping with the measure to ensure mutual safety, I demand more stringent steps to be taken to stall the movement of people into other regions," President Jokowi emphasized at the Presidential Palace, Monday.
Jokowi made the statement at a limited meeting themed "Anticipating Eid Homecoming" held through a videoconference with ministers of the Onward Indonesia Cabinet.
"An appeal has been made by public figures and governors to migrants in Jabodetabek to not return to their hometown, and I call for this to be continued and intensified further," he remarked.
The head of state deems the steps taken by regional heads as yet being insufficient and called for the application of more stringent steps to stem the spread of COVID-19.
"Over the past eight days, 876 inter-provincial bus fleets carried approximately 14 thousand passengers from Jabodetabek to West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta Special Region, and East Java. This is barring the figure of those travelling aboard means of mass transportation, such as trains and ships and air transportation, as well as private modes," he pointed out.
The president reiterated that the government’s current focus was to thwart the spread of COVID-19 by reducing or restricting the movement of people from one place to another.
"Hence, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the mobility of people of such proportion augments the risk of a further spread of COVID-19. Moreover, the report I received from the governor of Central Java and governor of Yogyakarta indicates the movement of homecoming crowd has occurred earlier than usual," he remarked.
President Jokowi stated that the homecoming (mudik) flow had been ongoing since the emergency response status was declared in DKI Jakarta on March 20.
"The to and fro flow, especially of informal workers in Jabodetabek, to the provinces of West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta Special Region, and East Java has increased," he noted.
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo had earlier noted that his office had coordinated with the provincial governments of DKI Jakarta, West Java, and East Java to prevent their citizens from returning to their hometowns.
Pranowo had put forth an appeal to the residents of DKI Jakarta to stay put in the capital city, with the same being applicable to those in West Java, Central Java, and East Java. He had also concurred with Yogyakarta Governor, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, to categorize all travelers as people under surveillance in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He recorded that up until March 26, some 66,871 travelers from various provinces had returned to Central Java, with Wonogiri being the region with the highest figure, reaching 42,838.
Up until Sunday, March 29, the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Indonesia had reached 1,285, with 64 people having recovered and 114 dying of the disease.
COVID-19 positive cases had spread to 30 provinces in Indonesia comprising 675 in DKI Jakarta, 149 in West Java, 106 in Banten, 90 in East Java, 63 in Central Java, 47 in South Sulawesi, 22 in Yogyakarta, 17 in East Kalimantan, 10 in Bali, eight in North Sumatra, nine in Papua, seven in Central Kalimantan, five each in Riau Islands and West Sumatra, and four in Lampung.
Furthermore, other cases of COVID-19 that surfaced constituted eight in West Kalimantan; five in Aceh; three in Southeast Sulawesi; two each in Riau, West Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, South Sumatra, Central Sulawesi, North Kalimantan, and West Papua; and one each in Jambi, South Kalimantan, Maluku, North Maluku, and West Sulawesi.
Related news: Ministry confirms 122 Indonesians overseas contracted COVID-19
Related news: Experts warn side-effects of disinfection chambers against COVID-19
EDITED BY INE