TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Head of the Ombudsman Jakarta, Teguh Nugroho, on Thursday said that the central government does not seem to have a comprehensive vision upon handling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in addition to the recent talks of introducing a ‘new normal’ restriction-loosening concept despite any significant drop in the number of cases.
“The central government is still heavily revolving around political-economy considerations instead of evidence-based policies,” said Nugroho in a text message to Tempo today, May 28.
He expressed his pessimism that the COVID-19 pandemic would be able to be suppressed seeing that the central government, which he claimed, remains to be inconsistent despite taking the role of the decision-maker for every Indonesian region to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
However, he said that he has seen otherwise. The central government often seems to be adamant to relax the large-scale social restriction (PSBB) and try to introduce the ‘new normal’ concept amid the spread of the virus.
“The relaxation of the PSBB is not unusual. The first and second PSBB phase had been hampered by the central government,” said the Ombudsman Jakarta chair.
According to Nugroho, the central policies that compromised the success of regional PSBB start from allowing people to travel across regional borders for the Eid homecoming, permitting the activities of work sectors that are excluded from PSBB regulations, up to the recent decision to allow people under 45 years old to go out of their homes and come to work.
Nugroho advised people to take an example of Vietnam that has somewhat managed to control and suppress the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Vietnam could do it. Why not us? Malaysia right now can also enjoy the results. New normal can be imposed if the curve of COVID-19 transmissions has been greatly reduced,” he said.
He suggested the Jakarta administration to stand with its decisions and let the public decide if the social restriction protocol eventually gets taken over by the central government.