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The PPKM extension was carried out to prevent the spike in Covid-19 during Nataru

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By: Alifa Zahra Fitriani )*

The government extended the implementation of Level 1 Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) in all regions of Indonesia for the period December 6, 2022 to January 9, 2023. This was done to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases during Christmas and New Year (Nataru) celebrations.

These provisions are contained in the Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs Number 50 of 2022 for the Extension of PPKM for the Java and Bali Region and the Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs Number 51 of 2022 for the Extension of PPKM for the Areas Outside Java and Bali.

Director General of Regional Administration Development at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Safrizal ZA said the extension of level 1 PPKM was the government’s effort to anticipate the spread of Covid-19 during the Nataru holiday.

Safrizal added that until early December, the pace of development of the Covid-19 pandemic was still increasing. Positive confirmed cases recorded an increase of 2,234 people with an increase of 5,033 recoveries, and 48 people who died.

Therefore, Safrizal emphasized that the government must still make a decision to extend PPKM. This arrangement is more of an anticipatory step towards the 2022-2023 Nataru holiday so that community activities both in places of worship and other public facilities can run well and not become a center for the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In the PPKM extension arrangement, all Regencies/Cities in Indonesia are currently still determined to be at Level 1 based on the indicators set by the Ministry of Health.

Arrangements for public transportation, such as public transportation, mass transit, conventional and  online taxis , and rental or rental vehicles, are still enforced with a maximum capacity setting of 100% by implementing stricter health protocols.

Meanwhile, requirements for domestic travel using private cars, motorbikes and long-distance public transportation such as airplanes, buses, ships and trains are regulated in accordance with the provisions stipulated by the National Covid-19 Handling Task Force.

Thus, all activities can be carried out normally while still paying attention to the implementation of strict health protocols and  screening  using the PeduliLindungi application. There are no changes to the provisions in the latest PPKM rules, including regarding watching the 2022 World Cup together.

Safrizal said the Omicron XBB subvariant was one of the factors in the increase in the number of active cases in Indonesia. Apart from that, one of the reasons for the increase in active cases of Covid-19 is the loosening of public awareness of the implementation of health protocols, especially the use of masks in public places.

The Minister of Manpower (Menaker), Ida Fauziyah, appealed to employers and workers/labourers to continue to implement strict health protocols ahead of this year’s Nataru Holiday. The Minister of Manpower invites all parties to take care of each other together, in order to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Minister of Manpower also appealed to workers/laborers who are going to take Nataru’s leave to refrain from traveling. This is considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Indonesia. Meanwhile, workers/laborers who have urgent reasons to travel are required to comply with the health protocol.

For information, the requirements for long-distance travel have been set by the Ministry of Transportation since the middle of this year, including through the Circular Letter of the Minister of Transportation (Menhub) Number 84 of 2022 for long-distance train travel, Number 85 for land transportation, and Number 87 for sea transportation.

In accordance with Circular Letter Number 84 of the Ministry of Transportation which has been in force since August 30, 2022 trips using the Long Distance Railroad (KA) mode of transportation are required to receive a third vaccine (booster), foreigners originating from overseas trips , mandatory second vaccine, who are not/have not been vaccinated for medical reasons must show a doctor’s certificate from a government hospital. 

Meanwhile, those under 6 years of age are not required to be vaccinated and are not required to show a negative Rapid Test Antigen or RT-PCR result, but must be accompanied by someone who meets travel requirements. Customers who do not meet the requirements will be directed to cancel the ticket according to the normal rules at the station counter.

Customers are also still required to wear a mask while traveling on trains and while at the station. To prioritize health protocols, all prospective users will also go through a body temperature check at the station and must have a normal body temperature, which is no more than 37.3 degrees  Celsius . All passengers will also be given  a healthy  kit  in the form of a standard replacement mask and hand sanitizer.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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