Public Transport Resumes, Expert Worries of Increasing Infection

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government's policy to allow the use of public transportation has the potential to increase the number of Covid-19 infection. Chief of Epidemiology Department of Public Health Faculty of Universitas Indonesia Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono said that the policy must be re-evaluated because a number of regions such as Bogor and Depok have shown a decrease in the number of Covid-19 infection cases.

    "If the public transportation policy is applied without clear studies then transmission [of Covid-19] will continue," Tri said when contacted by Tempo on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

    Previously, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said that all commercial public transportation for land, sea, and air will continue to operate on Thursday, May 7, 2020. The policy is said to have received approval from the Covid-19 Task Force.

    Tri understands that policy was applied to resurrect economic activities in the middle of the ongoing pandemic.

    "It is a dilemmatic policy in the current situation," Tri said.

    Several developed countries, Tri explained, has been affected by economic crises such as the United Kingdom and German, whose economic development had reached a minus percentage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Tri suggested that the government should study the policy carefully.

    The government, according to Tri, must continue to apply protocols and standards of large-scale social restriction (PSBB) to accompany the resumption of public transportation.

    "The use of masks and social and physical distancing must continue to be applied," Tri said.

    Tri suggested that regional government should provide quarantine for its residents coming from outside their regions as relaxing restrictions on public transportation will provide a gap for people to return to their hometown.

    "Quarantine can be done at home but under supervision. However, the policy has a risk of allowing transmission [of the virus] to continue and halted the currently ongoing restriction," Tri concluded.

    IMAM HAMDI