A young boy sits in front of a mural representing the Covid-19 coronavirus in Bogor, West Java.
The speaker of the Bogor regency council, Rudy Susmasto, has announced on Friday that he will temporarily withdraw from council activities after testing positive for COVID-19.
“I underwent an independent swab test, and the result came out on Sept. 25 at 12:45 p.m. I was declared positive for COVID-19,” he explained in a written statement on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.
“As of today, I will temporarily withdraw from the council’s activities for the next few days until I completely recover,” he added.
However, he vowed to keep abreast of the council’s activities through online platforms.
He also said he had instructed the council to assess council members for possible COVID-19 infections, adding that he hoped all members would continue to adhere to health protocols.
Rudy is the latest in a string of central government and regional administration bigwigs to contract the disease in recent weeks. Bima Arya, the mayor of neighboring Bogor city, had tested positive back in March but has since recovered.
The Bogor regency task force has detected COVID-19 clusters in four government offices in the region, namely the Public Works and Housing Agency, the Revenue Management Agency, the Land and Settlement Housing Agency and the office of state-owned tap water company PDAM.
Bogor regency has recorded 1,645 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 50 fatalities as of Saturday. (trn)
Currently, a railway line spanning 26.7 kilometers from Bogor to Cicurug is under construction. It is expected to be completed in August 2021Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - The Transportation Ministry has recruited at least 300 local people to support the Bogor-Sukabumi double-track railway construction project, the ministry's top official revealed in a statement that ANTARA received here on Sunday.
"Currently, a railway line spanning 26.7 kilometers from Bogor to Cicurug is under construction. It is expected to be completed in August 2021," Director for Railway Facilities at the Indonesian Transportation Ministry Heru Wisnu Wibowo said.
Employing the local residents in the Bogor-Sukabumi double-track railway construction project was part of the ministry's commitment to implementing the government's labor-intensive program, he said.
The casual workers are averagely employed for six months, said Wibowo who visited Cigombong Subdistrict's area in Bogor District on Saturday to observe the construction process of this Bogor-Sukabumi double-track railway project.
The ministry employs skilled and casual workers in which the later is recruited from those residing in the areas along and around the railway construction project to enable them to maintain their purchasing power amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indonesian government has intensified manpower-intensive infrastructure projects in different parts of Indonesia to offer employment to members of the low-income community to maintain their purchasing power amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This labor-intensive program is not merely carried out by the Transportation Ministry but also by the Public Works and Housing Ministry to boost the economic growth and distribute funds to villages and rural areas.
To this end, the Public Works and Housing Ministry, for instance, expedites the realization of this year's labor-intensive projects, financed in cash, in 34 provinces across Indonesia.
With a total budget of Rp10 trillion, the projects cover seven programs, including the Irrigation System Accelerated Program (P3-TGAI), Socio-Economic Regional Infrastructure Development Program (PISEW), and Reduced, Reused, and Recycled Waste Management Sites (TPS3R).
Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, while the Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.
To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to an economic contraction of 5.32 percent in the second quarter of this year, the Indonesian government is making all-out efforts.
Besides launching a labour-intensive program to assist those severely suffering the tremendous economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, the government also supports the development of a vaccine to combat the virus.
Currently, in addition to the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, Indonesian scientists are working on a vaccine named after the country's national flag, Merah Putih (Red and White).
Discovering a COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021 may help Indonesia's economy to recover at the latest by mid-2021, Iman Sugema, a senior economist with the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), stated.
"Economic recovery really relies on how immediate the COVID-19 vaccine is discovered. If it can be achieved on time, Indonesia's economy will rebound in mid-2021," Sugema has forecast.
The National Police are set to press criminal charges against a group of cyclists who rode down the Jagorawi toll road in Bogor regency, West Java on Sunday.
The National Police Traffic Corps’ Jagorawi highway patrol head, Comr. Kamila Tasran, said the cyclists had violated Law No. 38/2004 concerning roads.
“They could be charged under Article 63 of the law, which stipulates that anyone other than toll road users and toll road officers who deliberately enters a toll road will be subject to a maximum sentence of 14 days of imprisonment or a Rp 3 million [US$201,86] fine,” Kamila said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Kamila said the cyclists had put themselves and other road users in danger even though no accident had occurred.
“The group crossed at Simpang Polingga at kilometer 46 and drove against traffic toward the rest area at kilometer 45,” she said.
A video showing the group of cyclists entering the Jagorawi toll road went viral on social media in the past few days. The video shows them riding along both shoulders of the toll road, with some cyclists even crossing over to the opposite side while a truck drives past them.
In a statement issued on Monday, state-run toll road operator Jasa Marga confirmed that the incident occurred at 11 a.m. near the Ciawi tollgate in Bogor, West Java. The company said that signs at the entrance ramp to the toll road explicitly prohibit two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles and bicycles, from entering toll roads for safety reasons.
Police said the cyclists told them they were focused on trying to catch up with other fellow cyclists, and did not see any signs prohibiting them from entering the toll road.
The seven cyclists and their friends started cycling from Bekasi and Pamulang at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, tracing the village roads and heading to a cafe in the popular tourist destination Puncak in Bogor.
However, upon returning from the cafe, the group split up on the way, before the seven cyclists entered the Jagorawi toll road to meet with other colleagues in the rest area.
Kamila said the cyclists had admitted their mistake and said they were ready to accept any legal consequences. (syk)
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Bogor Mayor Bima Arya said he had no plan to reimpose a total large-scale social restriction (PSBB). He argued such a policy was not necessarily effective in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Bogor will not enforce the total PSBB again,” said Bima on Friday, September 11, 2020.
On Thursday, September 10, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan invited heads of neighboring regions, including West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil and Banten Governor Wahidin Halim to hold a meeting on the handling of Covid-19. Anies discussed his plan to re-implement the PSBB in the capital city.
Bima opined that relaxing the PSBB was surely in line with the hike in positive cases. However, there will be consequences followed by tightening it, that must be taken by the government. One of them is the economy.
The government must take responsibility by bearing the financial burden of people affected by the policy. Besides, the number of the regional Public Order Agency officers is limited to supervise the health protocols enforcement.
“I think there are many other ways besides imposing the PSBB,” said Bima Arya.
On Wednesday, Anies Baswedan announced Jakarta will be under the PSBB starting September 14, 2020. However, he has not yet released the detailed policy, pending on the coordination with the central government.
LANI DIANA WIJAYA
As many as 54,194 people have been affected by a drought in Bogor, West Java, the Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Bogor) has said.
“The number was calculated [based on the population] of 31 villages that were affected by the drought across nine districts,” BPBD Bogor Emergency Department Head M. Adam Hamdani said on Friday as quoted by tempo.co.
Adam stated that his agency had identified the affected districts, which are Citeureup, Jasinga, Tenjo, Cariu, Ciampea, Cigudeg, Klapanunggal, Jonggol and Gunungputri.
He added that BPBD Bogor had dispatched four 5,000-liter water tanks to distribute clean water to the areas.
He also urged regional administrations to notify the BPBD immediately if there was a drought in their respective areas.
“Please report to us immediately in case of drought so we can assist with a clean water supply. And please do not forget to attach the number of affected residents so we can match the supply with the people who need it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bogor administration recorded at least 302 hectares of land in the area faced the threat of crop failure.
“As many as 164 hectares in Jonggol and 138 hectares in Sukamakmur are threatened by crop failure,” Horticulture and Plantation Agency head Siti Nurianty said. (dpk)
TEMPO.CO, Bogor - All schools in Bogor are asked to apply an emergency curriculum as the city is classified as a COVID-19 red zone. The city’s Secretary of Education Agency, Dani Rahadian, said any educational institution was not allowed to conduct face-to-face learning during the pandemic.
“Perhaps, distance learning in Bogor can last longer than in green and yellow zones,” said Dani as quoted from the Bogor administration's website on Wednesday, September 2.
Dani released the recommendation after attending a coordination meeting on a virtual learning policy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the distance learning, the Bogor administration continues to improve supporting infrastructure. “Such as providing 797 free Wi-Fi spots across the city,” said Dani.
Previously, Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim through an amended joint ministerial decree (SKB) permitted regional heads of green and yellow zones to either reopen schools or run distance learning.
As for red and orange zones, face-to-face learning is still prohibited. “If schools are reopened, and parents refuse to bring their children back to school, they can have distance learning. Parents have the freedom to decide,” said Nadiem.
RAFI ABIYYU | TD
Experts have expressed skepticism about whether the curfews imposed in Bogor and Depok in West Java will be effective in curbing the rapid transmission of COVID-19 in the two cities. The Bogor and Depok administrations began imposing curfews last week, requiring places like supermarkets, restaurants and malls to close at 6 p.m. and prohibiting outdoor activities after 8 p.m. Both cities have begun to see spikes in COVID-19 cases, with 61 new confirmed cases recorded in Depok city and around 60 recorded in Bogor regency and Bogor city on Tuesday. Bogor and Depok cities are currently categorized as high-risk, or red zones, with high rates of transmission, while Bogor regency is categorized as a medium-risk or orange zone. Berry Juliandi, secretary-general of the Indonesian Young Academy of Science (ALMI) and IPB University biologist, expressed doubt about the effectiveness...
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Jakarta. Two Jakarta's satellite cities, Bogor and Depok, have begun imposing a night-time curfew following a recent resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
Places of business such as malls, cafes, and restaurants are only allowed to operate until 6.00 p.m. Out-of-home activities past the curfew are restricted to avoid crowds. However, employees are exempt from this rule as many work on shifts.
Bogor Mayor Bima Arya began implementing the curfew under the so-called "micro and community-scale social restrictions" (PSBMK) on Saturday, as the city turned to a high-risk area or red zone. Residents and culinary street vendors can stay outdoors until 9.00 p.m. Street vendors are only allowed to serve takeaway orders to avoid crowds.
In comparison to Bogor, the curfew for Depok residents and street vendors starts an hour earlier at 8.00 p.m. Delivery services can still operate until 9.00 p.m.
According to Depok Mayor Mohammad Idris, restricting out-of-home activities is necessary to curb the city's virus outbreak. For the past two weeks, more than 70 percent of confirmed cases in Depok are “imported” from other cities.
"These imported cases come from office clusters which trigger the contagion in families," Idris told local online media Kompas on Sunday.
For Depok, the introductory phase of the curfew had already begun since Monday. Sanctions for any violator will start to be in effect on Thursday.
A Toll on Business
The curfew, however, can be concerning for business owners. Many street food vendors -- such as those who sell fried rice -- are also only open at night.
Yudi, manager of a coffee shop in Depok, supported the government's attempt to combat the pandemic. However, he feared the curfew would cut revenue by up to 50 percent and thus forcing him to lay off his employees.
"It would be much more effective for the government to urge businesses to ramp up health protocols instead," Yudi told Jakarta Globe's sister publication Beritasatu on Monday.
Whether it is night or day, virus transmission can still occur, he said.
In Bogor, businesses flouting the curfew will be fined starting from Rp 1 million ($67.7) to 10 million. Violators must also write a statement that they will not repeat the mistake before reopening under strict health protocols.
Anyone not wearing a mask will have to face a Rp 50,000 to Rp 250,000 fine.
The municipal government had run a two-day introductory phase throughout the weekend. Although sanctions had only been enforced since Monday, there are already nine businesses caught red-handed.
"We have imposed a fine on eight businesses ranging from Rp 1 million to Rp 3 million. We have also sealed off one place of business because they refuse to pay the fine," Bogor Municipal Police Chief Agustyansyah said on Wednesday.
Fast food restaurant owner David Ginting worried that he would miss the dinner rush and asked the Bogor city administration to reconsider the start of the curfew.
"Six p.m. is a busy time for a restaurant. We hope that it can be pushed back to 9.00 p.m," he said.
Still in Discussion
Other Jakarta's satellite cities, Tangerang City and South Tangerang, are mulling over whether to issue the curfew.
"If people are not crowding, we will not impose a curfew. But if restaurants and street vendors cannot control their customers, we have no choice but to take care of people's health. Health is the highest law. We must act wisely," Tangerang Mayor Arief R Wirmansyah said on Tuesday.
Likewise, South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmy Diany said the night-time rule is still in discussion.
On the other hand, Bekasi decided not to impose any curfew in fear of the potential economic impact it may cause.
"The president told us to put a brake on Covid-19 and hit the gas for the economy. If we put a brake on both, we are done," Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said.
Experts have expressed skepticism about whether the curfews imposed in Bogor and Depok in West Java will be effective in curbing the rapid transmission of COVID-19 in the two cities.
The Bogor and Depok administrations began imposing curfews last week, requiring places like supermarkets, restaurants and malls to close at 6 p.m. and prohibiting outdoor activities after 8 p.m.
Both cities have begun to see spikes in COVID-19 cases, with 61 new confirmed cases recorded in Depok city and around 60 recorded in Bogor regency and Bogor city on Tuesday. Bogor and Depok cities are currently categorized as high-risk, or red zones, with high rates of transmission, while Bogor regency is categorized as a medium-risk or orange zone.
Berry Juliandi, secretary-general of the Indonesian Young Academy of Science (ALMI) and IPB University biologist, expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the curfews in slowing the increase in COVID-19 cases, saying transmission could also occur during the daytime.
“Maybe this kind of restriction can suppress the increase in COVID-19 cases, but the result won’t be significant,” Berry told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Syahrizal Syarif, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, worried the curfew would negatively impact businesses that operate at night, saying opening hours of businesses should last until 10 p.m.
While he believed that imposing lockdown measures was the best way to reduce transmission, as has been proven in countries like Australia, he also said closing down the economy might not be the right strategy for Indonesia, which has experienced at least six months of economic slowdown during the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
“The most important thing is that people wear masks, maintain physical distance and wash their hands regularly,” he told the Post. “This is because [respiratory] droplets have been the main cause of transmission [...]. Therefore, masks and physical distance are non-negotiable.”
He advised the administrations to stage public information campaigns on the importance of following health protocols and to begin imposing heavier sanctions against those found not wearing masks.
Berry suggested that regions with high rates of transmission should be allowed to enforce lockdowns, with the government providing basic necessities and social assistance for residents.
Amid the rise in cases, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has extended the PSBB measures in Bogor, Depok and Bekasi until Sep. 29.
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, a number of tourist destinations in Bogor regency, West Java, are welcoming visitors under strict health protocols.
Below are five locations that are now open to the public.
Taman Safari Indonesia
Located in Cisarua district, Taman Safari Indonesia resumed operations on June 15. Visitors are required to book tickets on its website, prepare to show their ID card or passport and specify their visit time. They also need to submit a vehicle identification number if they plan to drive there.
Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the animal theme park features several attractions, including Safari Journey, Panda Palace, 24 amusement rides, Baby Zoo, Bird Aviary, Komodo Dragon Island, Reptile Tunnel and Primate Center.
Ticket prices for domestic visitors start from Rp 185,000 (US$12.66) per adult and Rp 160,000 per child on weekdays, and Rp 220,000 per adult and Rp 200,000 per child on the weekend. Ticket prices for foreign visitors start from Rp 400,000.
Bogor Botanical Gardens
Managed by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Bogor Botanical Gardens is home to various species of flora, including orchids and cactus.
Ticket prices for domestic and foreign visitors are Rp 15,000 and Rp 25,000, respectively. Bundled tickets are available, with prices ranging from Rp 25,000 to Rp 35,000.
Cars are prohibited from entering the park on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
The garden also features the Lady Raffles Monument located near the main entrance. It was built by East Indies lieutenant-governor Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles for his wife, Olivia Mariamne Devenish, who passed away in 1814.
Taman Wisata Matahari
Families and companies often visit Taman Wisata Matahari for gatherings or team building activities. It is equipped with eight fields for outdoor activities, saung (huts) and four halls. Its attractions include paddle boats, a waterpark, trampoline area, all-terrain vehicle rides and a vegetable farm.
Tickets can be booked online.
Devoyage Bogor is a one-stop place for fun activities and taking selfies with a mini-Europe miniature theme park in the background. Among its popular attractions is a canoe ride exploring various landmarks of European countries.
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends, tickets can be booked online, with prices starting from Rp 30,000 per person on weekdays and Rp 40,000 per person on weekends or public holidays.
Educational agro-tourism site Kuntum Farmfield offers a chance to learn about nature, animals and organic farming. Here, children can ride horses and interact with animals while adults can learn about farming and buy numerous species of plants.
Kuntum Farmfield is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with ticket prices starting from Rp 50,000 on weekdays and Rp 60,000 on weekends and public holidays. Tickets are available for purchase online via Traveloka. (wir/wng)
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