Indonesia to enforce mandatory mask-wearing operation nationwide

The government is preparing to deploy personnel from various institutions to enforce mask-wearing protocols.
The government is preparing to deploy personnel from various institutions to enforce mask-wearing protocols.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Indonesian government is preparing to deploy personnel from various institutions to enforce mask-wearing protocols in subdistricts and villages across the country in its bid to curb the rising Covid-19 cases.

The operation will involve personnel from the Indonesian Military, the National Police, public order agencies (Satpol PP), as well as prosecutors and judges.

Covid-19 Response and National Economic Recovery Committee chairman Erick Thohir said President Joko Widodo had directed that the country's 83,000 subdistricts and villages be at the forefront of Covid-19 management.

"Indeed, this won't be easy. Sometimes there is a perception that the government wants to carry out repressive actions," Mr Erick, who is also the State-Owned Enterprises Minister, said on Thursday (Sept 10), as quoted by kompas.id.

However, Mr Erick said, there needs to be a stronger community discipline given that Covid-19 deaths and confirmed cases continued to rise.

He claimed that, despite the national case fatality rate continuing to fall, from 9 per cent in April to 4 per cent in September, the figure is still higher than the global rate, which stands at 3.27 per cent.

National Police deputy chief Commander General Gatot Eddy Pramono said the involvement of prosecutors and judges in adopting a stricter approach towards violaters of Covid-19 rules could encourage the public to wear a mask without being policed.

Gen Gatot, who is also the deputy head of the national Covid-19 recovery committee, further said the joint officers would coordinate with regional governments to map the areas prone to infection, including markets and offices and conduct surveillance around the clock.

However, he said community figures could also be involved under the direction of national security personnel.

 
 

If they failed, he added, the government would step in with the operation.