Indonesia to deploy officers to enforce wearing of masks


JAKARTA • The Indonesian government is preparing to deploy officers from various institutions to enforce mask-wearing protocols in subdistricts and villages across the country in a bid to curb rising Covid-19 cases.

The operation will involve officers from the military, the police, public order agencies, as well as prosecutors and judges.

Covid-19 Response and National Economic Recovery Committee chairman Erick Thohir said President Joko Widodo had directed that Indonesia’s 83,000 subdistricts and villages be at the forefront of Covid-19 management.

“Indeed, this won’t be easy. Sometimes there is a perception that the government wants to carry out repressive actions,” Mr Erick, who is also the State-Owned Enterprises Minister, said on Thursday, as quoted by the Kompas news site.

However, Mr Erick said, there needs to be stronger community discipline, given that Covid-19 deaths and confirmed cases continue to rise.

He claimed that, despite the national case fatality rate continuing to fall, from 9 per cent in April to 4 per cent this month, the figure is still higher than the global rate, which stands at 3.27 per cent.

The deputy chief commander of the National Police, General Gatot Eddy Pramono, said the involvement of prosecutors and judges in adopting a stricter approach towards violators of Covid-19 rules could encourage the public to wear a mask without being policed.

Gen Gatot, who is also the deputy head of the national Covid-19 recovery committee, further said that the joint officers would coordinate with regional governments to map the areas prone to infection, including markets and offices and conduct surveillance around the clock.

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But he said community figures could also be involved under the direction of national security officers.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ulema Council deputy chairman Muhyiddin Junaidi has advised Muslims in coronavirus hot spots to pray at home after the country was hit by record new infections in recent months.

“Muslims in areas with a high number of (Covid-19) cases are advised to refrain from performing Friday and regular prayers in public places,” Mr Muhyiddin said on Thursday, as quoted by the Tempo news site.

Indonesia recorded 3,737 virus cases yesterday. It also registered 88 deaths. This brings the total cases in the country to 210,940, while the number of deaths is 8,544.

Workers in protective gear burying a Covid-19 victim at a site earmarked for pandemic cases in Jakarta yesterday. Indonesia moved to enforce mask wearing across the country as infections rose by 3,737 to 210,940 yesterday, and 88 more deaths were rec
Workers in protective gear burying a Covid-19 victim at a site earmarked for pandemic cases in Jakarta yesterday. Indonesia moved to enforce mask wearing across the country as infections rose by 3,737 to 210,940 yesterday, and 88 more deaths were recorded, bringing the total toll to 8,544. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The deputy chief commander of the National Police, General Gatot Eddy Pramono, said the involvement of prosecutors and judges in adopting a stricter approach towards violators of Covid-19 rules could encourage the public to wear a mask without being policed.

Mr Muhyiddin advised Muslims in areas with a low number of cases to adhere to health protocols and to implement them when performing prayers in public places.

He also reminded Muslims to help people in need through zakat (alms) and donations, and urged preachers to educate Muslims on the importance of health protocols through sermons.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK





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