President bans "mudik" for citizens to contain COVID-19 spread

President bans "mudik" for citizens to contain COVID-19 spread

President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta. ANTARA/HO-Rusman/Press Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat.

At today's meeting, I have decided that 'mudik' (Eid al-Fitr exodus) tradition for all citizens is not allowed.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has officially barred all citizens from traveling to their hometowns during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations to thwart the transmission of COVID-19.

"At today's meeting, I decided that the ban will be applied on the 'mudik' (Eid al-Fitr exodus) tradition for all citizens," President Jokowi stated at a virtual meeting to discuss precautionary measures in connection with the homecoming tradition at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin and cabinet ministers were attendees at the meeting.

Annually, millions of people travel to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in a tradition known as mudik.

Jokowi explained that the decision was taken on the basis of the evaluation conducted by the Transportation Ministry.

"Based on the Transportation Ministry's survey, 68 percent of the people will not have the mudik tradition, 24 percent insist on mudik, and seven percent have already returned to their hometowns. It means, 24 percent are still left," the president elaborated.

The head of state noted that the government had striven to prevent the risk of further transmission of COVID-19.

"From this perspective, I have decided on the ban (for all citizens) after mudik was banned for civil servants, the military and police personnel, and employees of state-run companies last week. Preparations should be made in connection with this (ban on mudik)," the president reiterated.

Jokowi pointed out that the government had begun distributing social aid packages, including basic necessities, for citizens of Greater Jakarta, and the Pre-Employee Card. "This week, cash transfer will be done," he stated.

Indonesia had 6,760 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday (April 20), with 590 deaths and 747 having recovered; 16,343 patients under surveillance (PDP); and 181,770 people under surveillance (ODP).

The coronavirus infection has spread to all 34 provinces across the country, with the highest number of confirmed cases recorded in Jakarta, reaching 3,097; followed by 747 in West Java; 590 in East Java; 370 in South Sulawesi; 351 in Central Java; 341 in Banten; 140 in Bali; 107 in Papua; 96 in South Kalimantan; 89 in South Sumatra; and 83 in North Sumatra.

According to the Worldometers website, as of Tuesday, 2,481,528 people in 213 countries have contracted the coronavirus infection. It also recorded 170,439 deaths owing to the virus and 647,734 patients having recovered.

The United States has 792,913 confirmed cases, followed by Spain, with 200,210 cases; Italy, 181,228 cases; France, 155,383; Germany, 147,065; the United Kingdom, 124,743; Turkey, 90,980; and Iran, 83,505.

The highest deaths were recorded in the US, reaching 42,517, followed by 24,114 in Italy; 20,852 in Spain; 20,265 in France; 16,509 in the United Kingdom; and 5,828 in Belgium.

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