At least three passengers of the Greater Jakarta commuter line have tested positive for COVID-19 amid large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), raising concerns over transmission of the respiratory disease on public transportation.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil wrote on his official Twitter page that three commuters who traveled to Jakarta from Bogor, West Java, tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
“Three of 325 passengers aboard the Bogor-Jakarta train that we tested using PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test swabs tested positive for COVID-19,” @ridwankamil tweeted on Sunday.
3 positif covid dari 325 penumpang KRL Bogor-Jakarta yg kami sampling dgn test swab PCR. Ini artinya KRL yg masih padat bisa menjadi transportasi OTG pembawa virus. PSBB bisa gagal. Sdh dilaporkan ke gugus tugas pusat & kemenhub. Semoga ada respon terukur dari pihak operator KRL. pic.twitter.com/VYsUnTL9FT— ridwan kamil (@ridwankamil) May 3, 2020
Ridwan said he was concerned about the PSBB not being effective enough, as packed trains could transport the virus to other areas.
“It means that crowded trains could move asymptomatic virus carriers [to other regions]. The PSBB could fail. We have reported the cases to the [COVID-19] task force and the Transportation Ministry,” he said.
Train operator PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) spokesperson Anne Purba confirmed that the company carried out swab tests on 325 passengers at Bogor Station in West Java last Monday. Of those tested, the results came back positive for three people, she said.
“The results are in line with what the West Java Governor said, that three people or less than 1 percent of [commuters] tested positive,” Anne said in a statement on Sunday, adding that the confirmed cases were asymptomatic.
Despite the low rate of infection among train passengers, the company would step up its efforts to enforce physical distancing among commuters, she said.
KCI previously rolled out measures to prevent its customers from contracting COVID-19 by requiring that its passengers establish a “safe distance” from each other and cooperating with local police and military personnel to monitor 11 train stations, Anne said.
“KCI is open to collaboration with the West Java administration and related municipalities […] to maximize physical distancing efforts,” she added.
The number of commuter line passengers has plummeted 80 percent since Greater Jakarta imposed the PSBB. The company currently only serves up to 190 passengers per day in Bogor.
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