JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The police have dispersed more than four million gatherings nationwide since the authorities first instated bans on public gatherings in March in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
"We've dispersed 4,091,339 public activities," National Police chief general Idham Azis said during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs on Wednesday (Sept 30).
"The police have continued to patrol in areas prone to the spread of the coronavirus, but we pay attention to human rights principles."
In an edict issued by Mr Idham on March 19, the police urged the public to refrain from organising gatherings in public places or on private property, including social meetings, workshops, music festivals, sporting events, mass protests and family receptions.
Since the edict came into force, police officers have been dispersing gatherings and crowds during patrols throughout the country.
One of the latest operations occurred on Monday when the police dispersed an event organised by the Save Indonesia Coalition (KAMI) in Surabaya, East Java, because a large crowd had formed.
Former armed forces commander Gatot Nurmantyo, a member of the organisation's presidium, had planned to give a speech at the event.
Mr Idham added that the police had investigated other cases related to the pandemic, namely 104 cases of alleged fake news, 36 cases of food hoarding and 18 cases of medical equipment hoarding.
"Since March, we've conducted preemptive and preventive measures against hoaxes. We've conducted 23,830,650 cyber patrols," he added.