Ombudsman: Odd-even Policy May Trigger COVID-19 Clusters on Public Transport



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • An aerial view of traffic in the Pancoran area, Jakarta, Monday, August 3, 2020. TEMPO/Subekti

    An aerial view of traffic in the Pancoran area, Jakarta, Monday, August 3, 2020. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Jakarta Ombudsman reminded the city administration not to hastily enforce the odd-even traffic policy during the transitional PSBB or large-scale social restrictions as it could cause COVID-19 clusters related to mass transportation.

    “The Jakarta Transportation Agency’s decision to implement the odd-even policy starting Monday, August 3, 2020, clearly pushes COVID-19 transmission clusters on public transport,” said Jakarta Ombudsman chairman Teguh P. Nugroho in a written statement in Jakarta, Monday, August 3.

    According to him, the city’s plan to enforce the traffic system for 24 hours, which would also be valid for two-wheeled vehicles, could force workers to switch to mass transport. Let alone, he added, if it was not in line with the monitoring and enforcement of the policy on the limited number of employees allowed at workplaces.

    With this rule, he went on, passengers would pack a number of train stations during rush hours, thus potentially increasing virus transmission considering rail-based transport could accommodate a huge number of people.

    “Honestly, only commuter lines that are now able to carry a large number of passengers, other mass transport cannot be relied on,” Teguh said.

    The traffic congestion in Jakarta during the COVID-19 pandemic, he argued, must be resolved from its root.

    Ombudsman suspected the hike in the number of commuters from supporting regions to Jakarta and crowded stations were attributable to the refusal of state institutions, SOEs, regional-run companies, and private firms to limit the number of employees working at their offices. 

    Read: Jakarta COVID-19 Daily Update: 489 New Positive Cases