Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - The administrators of Surabaya City and Sidoarjo and Gresik districts on Monday called to put an end to the enforcement of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19 in East Java Province.

To this end, during a meeting, held here from Sunday evening to early Monday to evaluate the handling of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the administrators came up with a common proposal to end the enforcement of large-scale social restrictions in their respective areas.

After presenting his assessment of the large-scale social restriction policy applied in three phases in his administrative areas, Gresik District Head Sambari Halim Radianto expressed keenness to end it and enter a transitional phase.

"Though we have no longer enforced large-scale social restrictions, we remain committed to imposing strict healthcare protocols to continue efforts to break the chain of the coronavirus pandemic," he remarked.

Echoing the same view, Nur Ahmad Syaifudin, Sidoarjo District’s acting head, spoke of having suggested to end PSBB and in its place enter a transitional period to usher in a new normal.

However, Syaifudin vowed to not relax the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and other prevention and mitigation measures to prevent the occurrence of a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

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At the meeting, Head of the Surabaya Disaster Mitigation and People's Protection Agency Irvan Widyanto highlighted Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini's suggestion to put an end to the imposition of large-scale social restrictions in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city.

"We ensure that healthcare protocols for containing the spread of COVID-19 will remain in place, and checkpoints will also remain operational in areas of the city bordering with its neighboring districts," he noted.

In response to the suggestion put forth by the city and district governments, coordinator for enforcement of large-scale social restrictions in East Java Heru Tjahjono confirmed he would officially notify East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa on the proposals.

Large-scale social restrictions were enforced in Surabaya's greater areas from April 28 to May 11.The enforcement of these restrictions was then extended twice until June 8.

Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Since then, COVID-19 has spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.

The Indonesian government officially confirmed the country's first cases on March 2 this year.

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Translator: Fiqih A, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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