THE Jakarta provincial government reached a decision to tighten large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on January 11-25, 2021, as a follow-up to the central government’s directive to curtail the COVID-19 case load.

“The decision is based on the fact that the COVID-19 situation in Jakarta has become a cause for concern in the past few days. At this moment, active cases (in Jakarta) have hit an all-time high of 17,383,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan stated during in video recording here.

Active cases refer to confirmed COVID-19 patients, who are receiving treatment at health facilities and are conducting self-isolation.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, concurrently chairman of the Committee for COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery on Wednesday, announced a plan to restrict public activities in several cities in Java and Bali, including Jakarta.

Baswedan noted that the decision was also based on the experience in tightening the earlier PSBB in September 2020 when the number of active cases could be lowered significantly. In addition, it is based on a spike in active COVID-19 cases following the Islamic New Year holidays in mid-August 2020.

“We remember that the number of daily and active cases soared quickly two weeks after the long Islamic New Year holidays in mid-August (2020). Hence, at that time, we had pulled the emergency brake in mid-September of 2020,” he recalled.

“A few days after the emergency brake was applied, the number of active cases appeared to have fallen drastically and returned to the earlier level before the surge occurred. They fell by up to 50 percent. Hence, we can return to the transitional period of PSBB. Thus, it means that the enforcement of stringent social restrictions have proven effective to lower the number of active cases,” he concluded. [antaranews/photo special]