Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - The Surabaya city government instructed offices and companies to remain temporarily shut during the enforcement of large-scale social restriction measures to break the chain of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), failing which sanctions were applicable.

On the first and second days of the enactment of this policy, the authorities have continued to apply a soft approach by suggesting and educating those responsible for the offices and companies, Head of Surabaya's COVID-19 Task Force, Eddy Christijanto, stated here, Tuesday.

However, on the third day and thereafter, those found violating the 14-day social restriction measures would face sanctions, including possible revocation of business permits, he emphasized.

Christijanto drew reference to Surabaya Mayor's Regulation Number 16 of 2020 on Guidelines of Large-Scale Social Restrictions for Handling COVID-19 in Surabaya, under which all activities at offices must be temporarily halted.

Those exempt are government offices with duties related to the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and those tasked with the supply and distribution of basic necessities.

Also barred from this order are business entities, such as pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, medical equipment suppliers and distributors, traditional markets, food stalls, telecommunication services, banks, hotels, and internet providers.

They all are allowed to remain open to serve the public by abiding by all COVID-19 protocols, he remarked while urging all societal elements to respect and implement the rules of Surabaya's large-scale social restriction policy.

"We hope this large-scale social restriction measures would be enforced once," he stated.

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The coronavirus outbreak initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, but it then spread to various parts of the world, including countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2. Since then, the central and regional governments across the country have continually striven to flatten the curve by imposing healthcare protocols and social restrictions.

In breaking the chain of this novel coronavirus disease, which has weakened the purchasing power of so many families in Indonesia, large-scale social restrictions have been imposed in several other cities, including Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.

The central government has also banned homebound travel, or locally known as "mudik," during the fasting month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri holiday seasons.

The government officially implemented the “mudik” ban since 00:00 hrs Western Indonesia Time (WIB) on Friday, April 24, 2020. The ban excludes the movement of logistics, drugs, officers, fire engines, ambulances, and hearses.

The ban will be in place until May 31, 2020, for land transportation; June 15, 2020, for railway transportation; June 8, 2020, for sea transportation; and, June 1, 2020, for air transportation.

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Translator: Abdul H, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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