Indonesia Reviewing Budget for Possible Jakarta Quarantine

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian officials are reviewing the budget scenario should Jakarta be placed in quarantine to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the capital. Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, stated that Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani are calculating the necessary cost for the plan.

    "The (Jakarta) Governor and Mrs. Ani (Sri Mulyani) had been calculating last night," Luhut said in Jakarta, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

    According to Luhut, Sri Mulyani is currently preparing a budget deficit that will be left open until 2022, so the necessary budget needed to dampen the impacts of territorial quarantine is not an issue.

    Along with that policy, Luhut ensured that the government is currently preparing a Government Regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) concerning COVID-19 containment. However, he has yet to explain which law and articles will be revised in the Perppu.

    In regards to the consideration on quarantine or lockdown scenarios, Presidential Spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman has previously stressed that any quarantine or lockdown scenario proposed by a number of regions have been automatically rejected, in line with President Jokowi's decision to instead opt for social distancing on a large scale.

    "No, it is automatically rejected. Although there are policies (on quarantine), Regional Governments can actually implement it as limited isolation. But, on the national or provincial level, (the decision) must be in the hands of the President, and the President won't impose territorial quarantine," Fadjroel told reporters on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

    Based on this reason, added Fadjroel, the regional quarantine option was not even considered as the central government had learned from cases in India and Italy, wherein a lockdown policy has instead resulted in societal chaos.

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA | DIO SUHENDA (Intern Translator)